BARANGAY Ginebra coach Tim Cone admitted Rain or Shine counterpart Yeng Guiao had his number in the latest round of their long coaching rivalry in the PBA playoffs.
The two champion coaches had split their last four postseason meetings, with Guiao’s E-Painters winning the first two, in the Governors’ Cup Finals and the 2013 Philippine Cup semifinals, before Cone, who was then at San Mig Coffee, tied it with wins in the 2014 PH Cup finals and 2014 Govs’ Cup finals.
But Guiao got one over the league’s most-titled coach with a sweep in their best-of-three Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinal series.
“I’ve had some real battles with coach Yeng and ROS over the years. Today, he certainly won this round and got the better of us,” said Cone, who refused to grant interviews after the game but later text a statement to sportswriters covering the PBA beat.
“They were great and we were not. It was the wrong time, obviously, to have an off-night.”
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After another letdown in his second conference as Ginebra coach, Cone said the league's most popular team needs to continue to improve.
“That’s the next level for us, learning how to collectively play big games and big moments,” the American mentor said. “The game was an incredibly painful lesson for all of us, me especially.”
“I hate disappointing the Ginebra fans,” he added. “We didn’t live up the NSD legacy. I still feel in the near future that we’ll make them proud.”
“But until then, we need to keep proving that we deserve the Ginebra fans’ support,” Cone concluded.