Sun. Jun 4th, 2023

Ginebra coach Tim Cone during a PBA Governors' Cup semifinals games.  –PBA IMAGESa

Ginebra coach Tim Cone during a PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals games. –PBA IMAGESa

MANILA, Philippines–Coach Tim Cone said facing either TNT or old foe Meralco will pose a great challenge for Barangay Ginebra as it seeks a third successive PBA Governors’ Cup title.

Ginebra began playing the waiting game on Wednesday after sweeping San Miguel Beer, 87-85, in their semifinal series, with the possibility of meeting the top seed TNT or a fifth championship battle with Meralco.

The possibility of another Ginebra-Meralco tussle prompted Cone to compare it to a Filipino movie he had watched during his younger days.

“It’s like Shake, Rattle and Roll,” said Cone, whose Gin Kings beat the Bolts in their four previous meetings for the championship of the season-ending conference.

But whether it’s Norman Black’s Bolts or Jojo Lastimosa’s talent-heavy Tropang Giga squad, Cone considers the Finals series to be a great task for the Gin Kings.

Ginebra played both sides this month, resulting in a comeback win over Meralco last March 1 and a fourth quarter collapse in falling short to TNT 16 days later.

“It’s always an incredible challenge going up against Norman,” said Cone. “And Jojo’s my team captain for years and my assistant coach for years and I would be happy to go up against him. And it’s gonna be difficult because he knows me like the back of his hands.

“Either one is gonna be…we don’t have any control of that so we don’t have to worry about that. We just take who’s coming and will try the best we can to attack once we figure out who’s gonna be there,” he added.

Christian Standhardinger paces Ginebra in finals-berth clinching win over San Miguel.  –PBA PICTURES

Christian Standhardinger paces Ginebra in finals-berth clinching win over San Miguel. –PBA PICTURES

Ginebra advanced the hard way, trailing by 17 early in the third quarter before slowing making a run behind Christian Standhardinger, Justin Brownlee, Scottie Thompson and Jeremiah Gray.

The win came after taking the first two games at Ynares Center in Antipolo City by an average of 18 points.

“It was just a real struggle out there,” said Cone. “To be honest, from a coaching standpoint, I was just wondering, do I pull our guys out and live to fight another day on Friday or do we keep going at it?

“That was my battle throughout the whole third and fourth quarter. But they just kept showing a will. I was looking for them to stop. I was looking for them to kind of like give up a little bit and they never did that. So I stayed with them.”


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By cb2gp