PBA: Tim Cone needs time figuring out Meralco's game plan
A SHOCK TO THE SYSTEM

PBA: Tim Cone needs time figuring out Meralco’s game plan

Ginebra coach Tim Cone during a PBA Philippine Cup semifinals game against Meralco Bolts

Ginebra coach Tim Cone during a PBA Philippine Cup semifinals game against Meralco Bolts. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIREr.net

Because even if they seem to know the Bolts from head to toe, coach Tim Cone acknowledged that they may have to buy some time before figuring a way to get past their best-of-seven semifinal series in the PBA Philippine Cup.

“This is a familiar team, but they have a different system,” Cone said as the Gin Kings attempt to take a 2-0 lead at 3 p.m. on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.

Double-seeking San Miguel Beer likewise ges for a similar lead against underdog Rain or Shine in the other match set at 6:15 p.m.

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READ: PBA: Ginebra Game 1 win fueled by abysmal loss to Meralco in elims

Ginebra prevailed 92-88 two nights earlier after a tale that featured a blown lead, a seven-point deficit, a big turnaround thanks to a number of outside shots and a last stand against a late Meralco rally.

Stanley Pringle, who scored a season-high 22 points, rookie Ralph Cu and Christian Standhardinger led the win as the Gin Kings fired the warning shot in the series.

“It’s just nice to get Game 1 out of the way,” said Cone. “Getting the first game helps you put the team on a reactive basis. But bottomline is it’s just one game and we got a lot of games to play.”

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READ: PBA: Ralph Cu makes most of minutes in Ginebra’s Game 1 win

Having a lot of games to play means a chance for Cone and his staff to figure out the Bolts’ game plan, which now uses the system implemented by coach Luigi Trillo and active consultant Nenad Vucinic.

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The past seven playoff meetings, including four Governors’ Cup Finals all won by Ginebra, saw the Kings dealing with schemes of coach Norman Black, now in a less active role as Meralco’s consultant.

Timely contributions

“Their system’s a lot different and we struggled at times. They get a lot of movements and their guards are quick to the rim so we had a hard time defending in stretches,” Cone explained.

“We hope to get better in Game 2 and as the series goes on. But it’s a different system and we’re still trying to figure it out.”

Cu’s 18 points on six triples, Standhardinger’s 14 points, seven rebounds and seven assists plus timely contributions from Maverick Ahanmisi and Scottie Thompson showed why Ginebra is coming in as favorites with its depth.

READ: PBA: Ginebra banks on team effort to make up for Jamie Malonzo’s absence

And Pringle, whose performance came with key baskets that derailed Meralco in the second half, offered a fitting explanation.

“We’re a deep team, and there will be nights where I will come in aggressive and score. And there will be nights when somebody else is able to do that,” said Pringle.

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“That’s what makes us dangerous. We’re an all-around team and you gotta pick a poison with us,” he added.

TAGS: Ginebra Kings

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