It gets harder from here, says Cone as San Mig closes in on crown
MANILA, Philippines — Head coach Tim Cone knows it doesn’t get any easier from here, even now that San Mig Coffee is on the cusp of bagging the PBA Governors’ Cup title.
Game six of the best-of-seven finals series is on Wednesday with San Mig Coffee shooting to win it all, while Petron fighting for its life.
“As the series gets longer, it gets harder. Every game gets harder. The pressure starts to mount as you get closer, both teams become more desperate,” Cold told reporters after their 114-103 win on Sunday.
The Mixers had spent the first four matches trying to catch up and even the series with Petron, and now that the roles are reversed — Cone knows what kind of effort his team needs to conjure.
“Our mindset coming into the next game is going to be a lot harder than this one, that’s for sure. See if we could find the way again to get them uncomfortable,” Cone said.
In game five, the Mixers outworked the Boosters in the second half and left them no room to comeback unlike in game four. James Yap, Mark Barroca and PJ Simon all played key roles.
“I think the key tonight is we hit shots. We’re not really truly really a big shot team who does that but tonight we were. Players played their hearts out,” said Cone.
Marqus Blakely had 30 points in a full 48-minute performance while pulling down 14 boards and churning out seven assists.
“He gets tired, so I try to push him to his limit. And when he gets to his limit, I push him even more,” said Cone of his import.
And Cone is hoping to duplicate that winning push from his players in game six to finish the series.
“I’ve been here before. It’s nice to be able to win back to back. I don’t want to overstate the fact, but they’re a really good team. I certainly don’t want to be prophetic and say they have an opportunity to come back. I hope we can come out and duplicate,” Cone said.