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Cone: Ginebra treated Terrafirma game like title game

Ginebra coach Tim Cone FILE PHOTO

Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone admitted the Gin Kings treated their game against Terrafirma last Wednesday like a “championship game.”

That is because the Gin Kings knew the implications and the complications they would face if they had lost the match.

Sure, the Dyip have lost six in a row and were already out of the running for the playoffs entering the game but the American coach said it is always perilous to play a team that has nothing to lose.

True enough, the Gin Kings had to grind it out against Terrafirma, which collected 35 points, behind six triples, from its high-scoring import Jordan Williams.

“When we got beat earlier by Magnolia and San Miguel, back to back, it didn’t look like we’d make the top five. But we swept the next five games, and tonight was crucial, like it’s a championship game for us,” Cone said, shortly after Ginebra went through fits before subduing a tough Terrafirma side, 109-104.

Cone said they had no plans of taking Terrafirma lightly, knowing that a loss could have serious repercussions on the team’s goal of securing a spot in the top four that carries a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.

And knowing TNT will be Ginebra’s last elimination round assignment on March 17, beating Terrafirma last wednesday became a necessity.

“We don’t want to fool around and lose to TNT,” Cone stressed. “I think we got to play a little tight. We weren’t free and easy flowing tonight because of the magnitude of the game.”

Having three-time PBA Best Import Justin Brownlee was a blessing for the Gin Kings as the naturalized Filipino scattered 19 of his game-high 38 points in the fourth period to rescue the league’s most popular squad from the jaws of defeat.

More importantly, Ginebra won its fifth straight game, improved to 8-2 overall, and secured a twice-to-beat incentive in the next round.

Cone, though, can’t help but give credit to the hard-playing Dyip.

“They shot the ball extremely well. They all stepped up, and they were all shooting well. We were doing our best defensively I think and we were doing our schemes and techniques, but they were just making their shots and they just got contagious for them and they had lot of belief that they are gonna come out beat us tonight,” explained Cone, as Terrafirma peppered Ginebra with 19 triples.

“Frankly, we thought they might beat us too since it was our fourth game since last Wednesday (last week). We just had to reach deep and find a way.”

But now that the Gin Kings got the job done, Brownlee can get his rest and Cone will fly out to Passi City, Iloilo for the All Star Weekend slated to start on Friday.

“My wife’s mother is from Iloilo. She’s gonna enjoy it while I’m there doing the work. Though the All Star game is a lot of fun, great relationships with players you don’t normally create,” he said.

“And the good news, is this guy, Justin will get some rest before the playoffs.”

Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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