PBA Governors' Cup

Cone admits Ginebra ‘panicked’ as Meralco takes control of PBA finals

Delfin Dioquino
Cone admits Ginebra ‘panicked’ as Meralco takes control of PBA finals

BEATEN AGAIN. Barangay Ginebra once again cedes control of the PBA Governors' Cup finals to Meralco.

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The endgame poise Ginebra is known for is nowhere to be seen as Meralco nails a 2-1 lead in the PBA Governors' Cup finals

MANILA, Philippines – Crunch time is usually Barangay Ginebra time.

But with a 2-1 lead in the PBA Governors’ Cup finals on the line, the Gin Kings fizzled out in the waning minutes as Meralco claimed an 83-74 win on Sunday, April 10, to take control of the best-of-seven affair.

The endgame poise Ginebra is known for was nowhere to be seen in the crushing loss where it scored just 3 points in the final 7:30 minutes.

“We panicked down the stretch and we did not, obviously, hit shots,” said Gin Kings head coach Tim Cone. “We were going for hero ball shots and not trying to get good shots.”

The Gin Kings cut their deficit to a single possession off a Jeff Chan layup with 7:30 minutes remaining, 71-73, before the Bolts closed out the game with a 10-3 run led by Tony Bishop and Allein Maliksi.

During that dreadful stretch, Ginebra made just 1 of its 10 field goals and coughed up 5 turnovers.

“We got a little bit selfish. We were not moving the ball. I think most of all, we just had tired legs. We were really tired mentally,” Cone said.

For Cone, their lackluster fourth-quarter showing was a result of being pushed to the limit by Meralco in their 99-93 win that tied the finals series at 1-1.

Up by as many as 20 points, the Gin Kings needed until the final minute to fend off the Bolts’ inspired comeback.

“It took a lot to win Game 2, we just did not have enough to go down the stretch in Game 3. I was worried about that from the beginning of the game,” Cone said.

Those tired legs, though, will be given a two-day break before Ginebra shoots for the equalizer in Game 4 on Wednesday, April 13, at the Araneta Coliseum.

“We got a couple of days now. We’ll see how it works.” – Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.