Tim Cone wary of Rain or Shine as Ginebra returns to action after title win
MANILA, Philippines—Coach Tim Cone is hoping Barangay Ginebra can shake off the after-effects of the championship euphoria and the busy schedule of its PBA Governors’ Cup campaign which finally starts on Sunday against Rain or Shine.
The Gin Kings will be three weeks removed from capturing the Commissioner’s Cup crown over the guest team Bay Area Dragons when they start a rigorous stretch inside Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“It’s always a little tougher coming from a championship,” Cone said on Saturday. “The schedule is compressed, our practice time and preparation are shortened, and there is always that hangover phenomenon that always hits.”
Ginebra will start the conference with six games in 14 days against NLEX (Feb. 8), NorthPort (Feb. 10), Magnolia (Feb. 12), San Miguel Beer (Feb. 17) and Blackwater (Feb. 19).
A 12-day break will soon follow due to the Fiba World Cup Qualifiers window where the likes of import Justin Brownlee, Scottie Thompson and Jamie Malonzo are likely to don the Gilas Pilipinas uniform before Ginebra resumes its duties on March 1.
Meralco will be Ginebra’s first opponent in another difficult stretch, this time with five games in seven days. Phoenix is next on March 3, followed by Converge (March 5) and Terrafirma (March 8) before facing TNT on March 17 to wrap up the elims.
Cone is wary of Rain or Shine, the same team that spoiled Ginebra’s debut last conference and took a 93-71 win, despite coach Yeng Guiao still searching for ways to get out of a 0-3 slump.
“Last conference we also played [Rain or Shine] in our opening game and we were crushed by almost 30 points,” Cone recalled.
“Hopefully, we’ll be more alert this time around. Coach Yeng’s teams are always ready to battle no matter the situation.”
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