Ginebra welcomes Cone back
Cone is scheduled to rejoin the Kings on Sunday in their match-up against NorthPort with the team on a slump. Ginebra was 2-2 when he was away, including two straight losses after their 90-73 defeat against Meralco on Wednesday.
With the losses, Ginebra is no longer in contention for a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals despite their 6-3 win-loss record.
Cone said he has seen Ginebra in the past with stretches where it fades a bit after winning a championship. Still, he is confident that his team can get back on track with the playoffs nearing.
“We go through these stretches,” said Cone in an interview arranged by the Miami Heat to select Filipino reporters before leaving for Manila. “I think anybody who follows Ginebra closely the last five, six years, we got through these stretches where we don’t play particularly well. But we have a way of picking it up for the playoffs.”
“I wouldn’t say that’s by design but there is a certain part of the conference where we kinda motor it down a little bit. Because we just came from the championship, we won three of the last four, that’s always extra playing,” said Cone.
The Barangay Ginebra coach also said he is not surprised that his team lost to Meralco on Wednesday in their first match-up since beating them for the Governors’ Cup finals last season.
“We always seem to lose to Meralco in the eliminations. They come to get us because we beat them in the finals and they come to get us in the eliminations. We kinda expect. They are pumped and prepared and we are like ‘Meralco again.’ I’m not surprised that they beat us up. I’m just glad I wasn’t there when they did it.”
Ginebra has two more games left in the schedule starting with a clash with the Batang Pier as they look to place the best finish possible. The Gins will also play Phoenix on Thursday.
“We are not a team who panics. We aren’t going to panic,” said Cone.
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