Cone attributes ’embarrassing’ Ginebra loss to ‘lack of preparation’
MANILA, Philippines — Barangay Ginebra only had three days to prepare heading into Game 1 of their PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals series against NorthPort and it showed.
Ginebra’s coaching staff and its core bannered by Stanley Pringle and LA Tenorio were coming off a stint in the recently-concluded Southeast Asian Games where the Philippines won the gold medal.
That campaign, however, left Ginebra head coach Tim Cone and his staff with little time to get the Gin Kings ready for the Batang Pier, who, in contrast, had all the time in the world.
“It was a very ugly performance. It was embarrassing. They wanted it more than we did and it’s one of the worst first games I’ve ever been involved with on this side,” said Cone, who steered Gilas Pilipinas to a dominating gold medal run, after Ginebra took a 124-90 beating Saturday night. “But they beat us it all facets of the game. So we gotta come back better next time.”
Apart from Pringle and Tenorio, big men Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar were also part of the Philippine team that also had forward Joe Devance serving as one of the assistant coaches.
Cone, though, doesn’t think fatigue played a factor in the blowout.
“No, I just think the lack of preparation did. We didn’t prepare as well as we could have, but they had their guy missing, too, but we had most of our coaching staff, wasn’t ready,” Cone, who celebrated his 62nd birthday, said. “They surprised us with their zone. We didn’t handle the zone well. They changed the defenses up, did a really good job, came in with a good game plan.”
On the other hand, NorthPort shot nearly 50 percent from the 3-point area where it went 19-of-40.
Michael Qualls set the tone for the Batang Pier with 27 of his game-high 38 points coming in the first half.
Qualls also collected 15 rebounds and four steals while also getting a lot of help from the locals.
Christian Standhardinger, who also played for Gilas in the SEA Games, backed up Qualls with 16 points, 15 rebounds and six assists while Garvo Lanete gave NorthPort a big lift off the bench, scoring all of his 24 points in the second half. Lanete made 6-of-9 from downtown.
“They shot really well. We didn’t expect that they would come out with that kind of fire. It was like we were too relaxed. We didn’t expect that they would come hard at us. We started flat and then, from there, we gave them more confidence,” Tenorio said.
Ginebra hopes to even the series on Monday night still at Araneta Coliseum.
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