Coach Tim Cone feels grueling SMB semis series took toll vs Meralco in Finals opener
Tim Cone admits gruelling semifinals series against San Miguel took its toll on Ginebra in Game One of the PBA Governors Cup finals. Jaime Campos

GINEBRA coach Tim Cone felt the grueling PBA Governors’ Cup semifinal series against San Miguel Beer affected his team’s performance down stretch in Game One of the Finals against Meralco on Friday night.

The Gin Kings, who survived the Beermen in a best-of-five series that went the distance, showed up in the series opener against the Bolts prepared as they established a lead that grew to as many as 16 points, only to squander it in the payoff period.

“We’re certainly disappointed with our play in Game One, especially in that fourth quarter and overtime, but we’re not discouraged," Cone said on the eve of Game Two on Sunday night.

“It seemed the five-game series with SMB took a toll on us and we just wore down as the game progressed,” the champion coach added. “We feel we have a lot more to show in Game Two.”

Cone is particularly focused on limiting the production of Allen Durham, who scattered 46 points, 13 boards, seven assists, two blocks, and one steal in 50 minutes.

The prolific Bolts import made the most impact in the extra session, where he scored seven straight points before dishing out an assist to Cliff Hodge for an open three-pointer that proved to be the final nail in the Kings'coffin.

“Needless to say, however, we need to find an answer to Durham,” Cone said. “He was just dominant for us to overcome.” 

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