TIM Cone hopes Barangay Ginebra has finally turned the corner after bouncing back from one of his worst losses of his coaching career.
Coming off a disappointing 104-78 loss to Alaska in a game marked by tension between Cone and Alex Compton over a garbage-time basket, the Gin Kings regained their confidence with a 100-97 win over league-leader Phoenix.
“It’s hard to explain how badly we felt after the last game against Alaska,” said Cone. “I’ve been around for 30 years. I’ve had a lot of bad games but I really can’t think back and think of all those 30 years the worst game than it was last Sunday.”
Cone said the team was so disappointed with the loss to Alaska that it came out so focused for Sunday’s match against Phoenix.
“For us to come out here, we were focused for a week of practice. We got here and again things didn’t fall our way. It wasn’t like we were making shots all over the place. We had to bleed for everything that we got. We didn’t quit. I’m really proud of my guys. Hopefully, things can get us going in a good direction,” said Cone.
“We really needed that one,” said Cone.
With the Kings in fifth place in the standings on a 4-3 (win-loss) card, Cone said he is no longer aiming for a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals that goes to the top two teams at the end of the elimination round.
“The way things are going, I’ll be happy with top six. That other stuff is too far away. We are just trying to stay among the top six teams. It’s so tight. One win or one loss, it exaggerates you one way or the other,” said Cone.
Ginebra will once again be facing another tough match-up on Sunday in Magnolia, which at 2-4 is fighting for dear life.
“Right now, we are trying to focus. We have Magnolia coming up. They’ve become a hungry team after getting off to a slow start. I know those guys well. I know what character they have. They are starting to come on really hard,” said Cone.