THE challenge is now on Barangay Ginebra.
After what he termed as a loss that 'demoralized us,' Tim Cone said Game Four of the PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals against the reigning champions San Miguel Beermen will be a great test of the Kings' character.
The Kings have a full day to recover physically, mentally, and emotionally from the 132-94 drubbing dealt them by the mighty Beermen Wednesday night to take control of the best-of-seven series, 2-1.
The 38-point beating tied the worst finals blowout in PBA history.
Only teams of steely nerves are capable of coming back from such a humiliating loss and Cone hopes the Kings would live up to their 'never-say-die' attitude.
"Needless to say, we need to play a whole lot better to reach their (Beermen) level," said Cone a day after the Game 3 massacre.
"That's our challenge."
If it's any consolation to Ginebra, the Game Three blowout - coming in the wake of a similarly lopsided 134-109 loss in Game 2 - came early on in the title series.
"Bottom line though, we still have to remember it's a seven-game series and the game score is still 2-1," the 60-year-old Cone said.
But the Kings should start getting their acts together now especially after losing the last two games by a whopping average of 31.5 points.
"San Miguel tore out our hearts and demoralized us," Cone said. "A truly great performance by them on both sides of the ball.
"We were simply embarrassed," he added. "I was embarrassed."