Ginebra’s beating from Magnolia could turn out to be a blessing
Nothing has changed for Barangay Ginebra even after a 118-88 blowout at the hands of its sister team Magnolia in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Governors’ Cup on Sunday.
The Gin Kings are still the defending champions here and have been the most dominant squad in the season-ending tournament— they won four of the last five editions of the Governors’ Cup. And more importantly, for this edition, it was only Ginebra’s first loss in four games.
But all of that could not persuade Tim Cone from seeing the loss for what it was.
“It just turned into a really embarrassing night,” he said on the heels of the fancied duel at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
“Tonight was truly our first [championship] hangover night. I mean, we just didn’t have it. I tried hard, we tried hard to get on them at halftime. [The players] came out with a little bit of fire to start a run, but we just couldn’t sustain it.”
Save for the first six minutes of the contest, Ginebra hardly found ways to match the enemy’s zest. They wound up losing in nearly every statistical contest of the game as well, except for second-chance points and blocks.
The Gin Kings also trailed by as many as 31 points in the game.
“I hate to admit this, but we really were a tired team tonight, and you can see it in our body language [and] our lack of activity. We just weren’t getting up and down the floor, we weren’t moving without the ball. The ball was moving slowly tonight, and we were late on all of our rotations,” Cone said of the loss which pushed the club down to fifth place.
“It was a perfect storm: We were tired, and we played a team that was desperate and has found life with a new import, and just came out and they out-physicaled us and out-energized us,” he added, while ruing the densely-packed schedule his crew has been on since winning the Commissioner’s Cup.
WATCH: Coach Tim Cone concedes that Barangay Ginebra looked tired during its 118-88 loss to Magnolia, his team’s fourth game in seven days.“It was a perfect storm,” Cone laments. | via Jonas Terrado/Inquirer Sports
Posted by Inquirer Sports on Sunday, February 12, 2023
Ginebra is one of the three pro teams tapped to loan its stars to the National Team that will be wrapping up its Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers campaign on Feb. 24 and 27 at cavernous Philippine Arena in Bulacan.
Among those standouts is Justin Brownlee, who was held to just 22 points—also the most by any Gin King that night.
“I just want to give Magnolia a lot of credit. They played a great game. I don’t want to take anything away from their win. They deserved it, they played hard, and had a great game plan,” Brownlee, a naturalized Filipino, said.
“For us, of course, we’re coming off a championship. We’ve had a lot of success and started off 3-0. [But] this loss, you know, it can be positive,” he added. “Hopefully, we can gather ourselves from this loss, learn a lot and move forward. Understand that if we come out and play mediocre [basketball] and not mentally focused, this could also happen not only against Magnolia but a lot of teams.”
Cone also saw a silver lining in the stand.
“It was good to have Christian [Standhardinger] back tonight, and he played extended minutes so that was very encouraging. LA [Tenorio] played a bit of extended minutes tonight, too. So, hopefully, we’re getting a little bit healthy as we wait for Japeth [Aguilar] to return,” said the Grand Slam coach.
The Gin Kings will need to seize the most out of those positives, what with a killer stretch ahead. Still on tap for the crowd darlings are San Miguel Beer, Meralco, Converge, and TNT — which have combined for 15 wins against a mere three losses to create a three-way tie on top.
“We have to make sure we’re ready to play all out,” Brownlee said.
PBA: Weary Ginebra ‘just didn’t have it’ in blowout loss to Magnolia, says Tim Cone
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