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Basketball

Ginebra still battling championship hangover, rues Tim Cone

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Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Ginebra still battling championship hangover, rues Tim Cone Basketball News PBA  Tim Cone PBA Season 43 Barangay Ginebra San Miguel 2017-18 PBA Philippine Cup

It’s been 72 days since Barangay Ginebra San Miguel clinched the 2017 PBA Governor’s Cup. However, the Gin Kings are still in cloud nine believes third-year Ginebra coach Tim Cone.

“Well, that’s teams coming from championships do,” lamented Cone Sunday evening. “This is the way they do it. They sleepwalk for three and a half quarters, then try to win the game down the stretch.”

During Ginebra’s second assignemnt in the 2017-18 Philippine Cup, the back-to-back Governor’s Cup champions settled with playing at the Globalport Batang Pier’s pace. Entering the final frame, Ginebra was even down by a game-high nine points, 68-77.

Just like a diesel engine, Ginebra turned it up in the final frame with crisp ball movement and their trademark stifling defense. Behind Japeth Aguilar, Scottie Thompson, Aljon Mariano, and Greg Slaughter, the Gin Kings closed out the game with a 9-1 run that led to a 104-97 win.

“This is something we really want to try to avoid. In my experience, I’ve seen this, I’ve seen it with teams coming in,” the 20-time champion mentor furthered as Ginebra only held the lead for a total of 10:29 in the game. “After a championship, they feel like they can just show up and win, and they don’t play until they really have to.

“I’m very disturbed by that.”

Moreover, Cone is afraid that their 2-0 record will only result to the Gin Kings continue to cruise until they experience a “wake-up call”.

“We might have been better off losing this basketball game to wake us up and realize that we can’t do that,” opined the 29-year coaching veteran, “Because now, it’s gonna encourage us to do it again. We think we can get away with it.

“I’ve just known through experience, you just don’t get away with those things over the long haul.

“And you get in the habit of doing that, you can lose to teams you’re not supposed to lose to, and suddenly you’re in a bad position for the playoffs and you don’t make a run to the Finals,” he added.

Still, there’s a part of Cone that hopes his players learn from this game before it becomes too late.

“We kinda stole this one tonight. We can’t expect to steal other wins. We gotta get better from here.”

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