READING between the lines, it seems Tim Cone now wants to see results rather than just progress from Barangay Ginebra’s campaign in the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup.
The Gin Kings hope to translate their development into victory this time as they battle Blackwater on Saturday in a Petron Saturday Special at the Angeles University Foundation gym in Angeles, Pampanga.
Tipoff is at 5 p.m. with Ginebra, running sixth in a tie with NLEX at 4-4, seeking to move ahead in the 12-team standings and solidify its bid for a twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals.
The Nos. 3 to 6 teams gain the twice-to-beat advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
“Every game is crucial at this point of the conference,” Cone said on Friday. “Every one of our games have playoff implications, so we’ll have to step up our play.”
But that doesn’t mean the league’s most successful coach doesn’t want to see a fluid execution of the Triangle.
“We’re still looking to smooth out our game and develop some consistency,” Cone said.
The Gin Kings, who bowed to Rain or Shine, 94-86, last Sunday, seem to be comfortable playing outside the Big City, having won three of their four games away from Manila to carve out a reputation as the ‘Kings of the Road.’
Standing in the way of the league’s most popular team are the struggling Elite, who have lost their last four games, the latest a 120-105 beating at the hands of GlobalPort also last Sunday.
“Our goal is to get a good positioning in the playoffs and hopefully, we'll make our way from there and continue on getting better in the process,” said star center Greg Slaughter, who leads the Gin Kings alongside Japeth Aguilar and Mark Caguioa.
The Elite draw strength from Carlo Lastimosa, who’s coming off a career 31-point performance, and steady slotman Poy Erram.