Tim Cone hopes defense remains same as Ginebra shifts gear
PBA

As Ginebra shifts to new offense gear, Tim Cone hopes defense remains the same

/ 04:20 AM March 12, 2024

Ralph Cu’s shooting fueled Ginebra’s last victory. —PBA IMAGES

Ralph Cu’s shooting fueled Ginebra’s last victory. —PBA IMAGES

Barangay Ginebra claimed its second-straight win in the PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday night, giving the club a perfect start in the league’s centerpiece tournament.

The 102-92 victory was built on many things that went the crowd darlings’ way—from an opposing ace missing the game due to a bum ankle, to an experiment paying dividends.

“I tell you one thing that really helped us out is that Tyler Tio didn’t play,” coach Tim Cone said after the game at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.

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READ: PBA: Ginebra banks on strong third to dispatch Phoenix

“[Phoenix] is a different team without Tyler. He keeps everything under control. They don’t panic when things start going bad. He keeps them all moving forward.”

Ginebra took control of the lead late in the first half behind Jamie Malonzo and the hot shooting of Stanley Pringle and Ralph Cu—the latter pair becoming the spearhead of Cone’s gambit.

“We started hitting shots in transition, which is something we’re trying to do a little bit more—trying to play a little bit more up-tempo and look for shots like that. We feel we have shooters … who allow us to do just that, and that’s what we’re looking for,” the seasoned mentor said.

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READ: PBA: Ralph Cu, unheralded rookie, shows worth for Ginebra

Cu wound up with 12 points all coming exclusively from the three-point line. Four more finished in twin digits, including Malonzo, the beleaguered Ginebra star who was big in the team’s conference debut just two nights ago.

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Gilas practice player

“I think this is the most opportunity I’ve had in my whole life. Even in college, I was just a bench player. I just want to make the most of the opportunities given to me,” said Cu, his confidence at an all-time high especially after serving as a practice player for Gilas Pilipinas.

It would be interesting to see how such an approach works for Ginebra, especially with games against battle-hardened teams Meralco, Magnolia and San Miguel Beer coming up.

“When you start up-tempo and a lot like that, sometimes you deemphasize your defense. And we want to find a way to be able to up-tempo and still emphasize our defense as well,” Cone said.

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“We have to find that balance between up-tempo and still being able to play that defense that we have historically always played.” I

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