With chance for a sweep, Cone asks his Kings to ‘be better’
Tim Cone said his Barangay Ginebra crew will try to do the unthinkable in finishing off fancied San Miguel Beer in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Governors’ Cup semifinals Wednesday, as the Gin Kings have a chance to pull it out without two pillars that have been big figures of their success of late.
“When you’re playing a good team like San Miguel, it’s nearly impossible to beat them three straight times,” the seasoned coach said shortly after a 121-103 victory on Sunday that had the defending champions on the cusp of yet another Finals appearance.
Ginebra has been playing with cutthroat efficiency and poise in these playoffs, winning by an average of 12.3 points despite being without Japeth Aguilar, and just recently, LA Tenorio, who has taken a leave to battle Stage 3 colon cancer.
Their absences have lit a fire from under the crowd darlings, who are looking to snare a fifth crown since winning this conference back in 2016.
San Miguel, for its part, is trying to stand defiant. After all, it has history on its side as it has never, in its entire existence in the PBA, found itself on a nasty end of a sweep in a best-of-three series.
The Beermen have also proven themselves capable even without June Mar Fajardo. They managed to secure fifth spot in the playoffs while the towering cornerstone rested an injured throat.
Looking for three wins
More importantly, Jorge Gallent, who is coaching his first complete conference for San Miguel, is hell-bent on saving the club’s conference: “As long as there’s a chance, it’s my job to push them to get three-straight wins.”
This is perhaps why Cone is urging his charges to reach for even better play despite how splendid they have been thus far.
“The bottom line is we want to grow within a series. We want to get better and be better through what we do and how we do it,” he said.
“We want to do that throughout this series, so hopefully, we’re better in Game 3 than we were in Game 2,” he added. “That’s always the plan. It doesn’t always work out that way—it rarely works out that way—but that has always been the goal.” INQ
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