Tim Cone believes Kings lost because they just couldn’t make their shots
Tim Cone feels that his Barangay Ginebra crew did enough in guarding Myles Powell.
The hotshot guard’s return, in fact, had little to do with the Gin Kings falling a tad short in their first crack at wrapping up the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner’s Cup title—and the Grand Slam coach fingered something else as the culprit.
“We did what we wanted to do defensively,” Cone said, after the Gin Kings’ 87-84 defeat to Bay Area on Wednesday night that disappointed most of the 22,000 fans at Smart Araneta Coliseum and set the stage for a Game 7.
“We just didn’t knock down shots on the offensive side,” he added.
Ginebra’s 37-percent shooting, including a seven-of-33 clip from three-point territory, was in contrast to Bay Area’s solid numbers from the field.
“I give a lot of credit to Myles [Powell]. He hit a lot of big shots for them,” Ginebra import Justin Brownlee said.
The Dragons shot 44 percent from the field and nailed 17 triples, a barrage that can be attributed to Powell, who, despite scoring a conference-low 29 points, made crucial shots during the waning moments.
Powell dealt with the air-tight defense of Nards Pinto, who was kept on the floor down the stretch despite scoring just three points and missing eight of his nine attempts.
That’s why Cone sees a silver lining—and an opportunity—in the loss.
“We only gave up 87 points, they average like 115 when Powell is playing,” said Cone after Powell failed to score at least 30 for the first time in Bay Area’s guest participation in the midseason tournament.
Cone also admitted that Ginebra had to cram after Bay Area made a stunning move to reactivate Powell despite an earlier declaration by Dragons coach Brian Goorjian that he was done for the series due to an injured foot.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial’s move to reschedule Game 7 to Sunday at Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan, will give the Gin Kings more time to prepare for the explosive 6-foot-2 guard.
“We didn’t have time, we had like 45 minutes to set the game plan for him in our last practice,”
Cone said. “Hopefully, we’ll have a little more time, and think what we’re doing about it. Look at him a little bit.”
“We haven’t experienced him before, we didn’t play him in the [eliminations], so this is the first time we had him,” Cone explained.
“But in my mind, we did a good job defensively. [B]ut they had a great shooting night from three, almost 50 percent. We shot 20 percent. That was the difference in the game.”
Cone remains hopeful that Ginebra can produce a celebratory outcome before its throng of supporters in Bulacan.
“We want to win a great game for them, not just for the people who [will be] there, but the people watching at home,” he said.
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