Kings up for tough outing
Tim Cone knows what he and his Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings just did.
“We were humiliated,” San Miguel Beer counterpart Leo Austria said Friday night after the Kings bamboozled his Beermen without letup on the way to a 127-99 Game 1 victory in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup title series. “This is the kind of game I don’t want to experience, especially in a championship series.”
That’s why Cone is bracing for a San Miguel fight back like no other, one which if he and his Kings manage to weather in the 6:30 p.m. game at Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, would move Ginebra closer to knocking the mighty Beermen off their pedestal.
“We stirred the beehive and they will stick it to us in Game 2,” said Cone during the post-game interview where he admitted to being surprised at how easy they were able to handle the Beermen. “It was just one of those nights when we had it and they didn’t.”
It was possibly the best game Ginebra played the entire tournament and one of the worst San Miguel came up with all season, which made all pre-series predictions look like rubbish with most experts expecting this to be close.
They’re a veteran team and they’ve been in this situation many times before,” Cone said. “We know the resilience of this team and we are expecting a real forceful game from them in Game 2.”
Austria sounded vengeful during his time to talk with the media and brushed off the loss as one they can easily bounce back from.
“Losing by 40 or 50 points is losing just one game,” Austria said. “Good thing that this is a best-of-seven series. It’s the same as a one-point loss. We have to move forward.”
Things should have been easier for Austria to accept a few hours after the debacle, more so since he admits to being on the losing end in his coaching battle with Cone on this one.
“The grand master (Cone) really moved his pieces well,” Austria conceded later on. “Our talent that we used in the playoffs wasn’t enough [for this game]. They really came out prepared. I was outcoached and we weren’t able to execute our game plan.”
San Miguel’s game plan was botched early when Justin Brownlee hit 18 points in the first quarter to jumpstart the Ginebra offense. The Kings’ defense also did its job on the players that mattered on the other end, especially June Mar Fajardo.