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Cone takes blame for bad Ginebra debut, says he was out-coached



In his first game with a different franchise, Tim Cone was shell-shocked by a well-organized Star Hotshots crew, which handily defeated Barangy Ginebra, 86-78, on Sunday.

The Hotshots capitalized on a disastrous start by Ginebra, and led by as much as 44-13 at one point, before maintaining the lead until the end.

Cone immediately took the blame for the defeat, saying it was a matter of being out-coached.

“That did not go the way we wanted for sure. That wasn’t a lot of fun. We picked the worst team to (start the season). We have been doing (with Star) what we were doing with Ginebra for four years,” Cone said.

“They knew the things that would disrupt us and give us problems with our execution. Our guys tried to execute really hard. They were trying to please me. Then, Jason (Webb) came out and played all different kinds of defenses, and didn’t allow our guys to execute.”

Ginebra shot only 19 percent from three-point area, and turned the ball over 22 times. They also lacked scorers outside of Greg Slaughter (28 points, 16 rebounds) and Japeth Aguilar (26 points, 16 rebounds), although there were positives to take away from the loss.

Ginebra led in rebounding, as expected, 53-46, and almost doubled Star’s output in points in the paint, 50-28. The team also assisted 22 of 34 field goal makes.

“It was one of those games I was out-coached. We were trying to focus on some things, but we didn’t focus on what Jason was going to throw at us. It happens. It won’t happen again,” Cone added.

But always a believer in continuity and longevity, Cone flashed a positive aura after the game.

“We don’t have to be good right now. We have to be good come playoff time. We will get better and hopefully we become good at the right time,” Cone shared.

When Cone coached the Star franchise for the first time, they were booted out in the quarter-finals in the 2011 Philippine Cup. It took a while before the B-Meg Llamados won a title, and years before a grand slam.

What Ginebra showed Sunday may not be the best, but it is a portent of great things to come.

Cone looks forward to the future.

“My hats off to the (Star) staff for what they did tonight. We were out-coached. But I like this team we have and we have a good future ahead of us,” he said.