Saturday marked coach Tim Cone’s 62nd birthday, but the multi-decorated mentor could hardly celebrate.
Cone had just seen Northport tear apart his Barangay Ginebra by 34 points, 90-124, in Game One of their 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup semifinal series at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
“One of the worst first games I have ever been involved with,” lamented Cone moments after the defeat.
No one could blame the 21-time PBA champ for feeling that way. As per the league’s stats chief Fidel Mangonon III, the 34-point beatdown Ginebra suffered was its worst loss this season.
The last time it was humiliated was in Game Three of the 2018 Commissioner’s Cup Finals, when it lost to San Miguel, 94-132.
Fatigue was a factor in the loss, since Cone and four Gin Kings are coming off a gold medal run in the 30th Southeast Asian Games that concluded just last Wednesday.
But for Cone, lack of preparation doomed Ginebra, which then put them behind 0-1 in the best-of-five affair.
“No, I think just a lack of preparation. We didn’t prepare as well as we could have,” he said admittedly.
Game Two is on Monday, December 16. And of course, Cone and his chargers all plan to redeem themselves.
“They beat us in all facets of the game. We gotta come back better the next time.”