JUST how fast San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone answers a question is exactly the opposite at how the Mixers came out of the gates in three of their four games so far in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals series against Rain or Shine.
It happened again Thursday night in an 83-74 Game 4 loss at the Mall of Asia Arena in a spoiler which the American mentor attributed to another slow start by his team.
“We struggled from the outset. We couldn’t make shots,” rued Cone, as he promptly replied to questions thrown his way while walking outside the newly-built coliseum.
Actually, that has been the story of the entire series so far which the Elasto Painters lead, 3-1. The Mixers found themselves trailing in the first two quarters of Games 1 and 3 and never recovered lost grounds from there.
It was the same story the last time as San Mig again fell victim to a slow start. The Mixers threatened late in the fourth quarter with James Yap spearheading the rally, cutting what was once a huge 18-point deficit to only 74-77.
But rookie Chris Tiu came to Rain or Shine’s rescue, hitting four straight points off costly turnovers by the Mixers to seal the outcome of the match.
“We gave ourselves a chance to win down the stretch but we made a couple of errors. It’s hard playing from behind the whole time,” said Cone.
With the Painters now a win away from a second straight Finals appearance, Cone kept things simple when he talked to his team inside the dugout.
“Just got to get ready for the next game. It’s a seven-game series.”