Fri. Jun 9th, 2023

Tim Cone Barangay Ginebra PBA Finals

Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone and the Gin Kings during Game 1 of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals against the TNT Tropang Giga. PBA PICTURES

MANILA, Philippines—Coach Tim Cone was actually surprised with how Barangay Ginebra fared in the opener of the PBA Governors’ Cup championship series at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Gin Kings steamrolled TNT, 102-90, for a win that seemed unlikely considering the many questions that hovered over the club’s preparations in the past week, according to Cone.

“Well, to be totally honest, I didn’t know if we had done a good job preparing for this game in those 10 games,” he said on Sunday night, on the heels of the Game 1 win that coincided with the league’s 48th founding anniversary.

“I was questioning myself on whether we should take Good Friday off, if we’re taking too much time or if we’re not working hard enough. There were a lot of questions going on throughout the 10 days so I was not a hundred percent sure we’re gonna play good tonight,” he added.

The last time Barangay Ginebra actually played was on March 23, when they closed out sister team and Philippine Cup champion San Miguel Beer in their semifinal series.

“I was worried about our game shape, whether we’d lose game shape in those 10 days. I was worried about our rotations, too. But it all came together well. Surprisingly. And we were able to win.”

The 10 days actually worked wonders for the Gin Kings. Import Justin Brownlee was hot right from the jump, scoring 17 of his 31 points in the first quarter. Scottie Thompson’s triple-double churning self was present as well, turning in 10 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists.

Jamie Malonzo had 21 points while Christian Standhardinger, a frontrunner for the Best Player of the Conference award, chipped in 16 points in the win where they led by as many as 18 points and had the club staying perfect in these playoffs.

“Guys came out and they came out really fired up to start the game which I thought and it set a good tone at the beginning of the game and I was kind of surprised, to be honest with you,” Cone said.

“Then, they were able to carry the fight all the way through for 48 minutes,” he went on.

Game 2 of the Finals is on Wednesday, again at the fabled Big Dome.


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By cb2gp