SAN Mig coach Tim Cone blamed no one but himself for the Mixers’ 80-83 Game One loss to Rain or Shine on Friday night in Game One of the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup Finals.
Cone said it was just “uncharacteristic” for him as a veteran coach to burn his team’s last two timeouts in the final 22 seconds, which left the Mixers without one after Paul Lee hit a clean get-away layup off a perfect inbound pass by Gabe Norwood with nine-tenths of a second left to play.
“I really feel horrible,” said Cone after the game. “(Rain or Shine coach) Yeng (Guiao) made a brilliant play down the stretch, just a brilliant play.
"That game was totally on me. And I feel bad because the guys worked so hard, and they came off that tough Game Seven,” added the American coach, who is tied with the great Baby Dalupan for the most number of league championships won at 15.
Cone called successive timeouts in one play as the Mixers looked for the go-ahead basket after Jervy Cruz pulled Rain or Shine level, 80-all, with 22 seconds remaining.
As a result, he had no more timeouts after Lee hit the marginal basket, incurring a technical when he called one. Lee hit the technical free throw to widen Rain or Shine's lead to three, 83-80, with nine-tenths of a second left.
“I stepped out of character. I don’t know why I called a timeout. I allowed them (Elasto Painters) to get the matchup they wanted on the floor (because of the timeout), and I just never do that (call timeouts immediately) but I don’t know why I did that this time,” rued the 56-year-old San Mig mentor.
“Then I saw the matchup they had there. I called another timeout. It’s just really not a good play, but he (Guiao) had the right play to call, and again it was brilliant.”
The American coach said he will have to spend much of Friday night reviewing what happened in the dying seconds of the Finals series-opener and try to map out a better game plan for Game Two.