Tim Cone clears Ginebra players from blame, says failure to call timeout his fault
Tim Cone was agitated on the sidelines following two crucial plays where Ginebra players failed to call a timeout. A day later, the multi-titled coach says the players were not to blame. Dante Peralta

GINEBRA coach Tim Cone insisted it was partly his fault that his team didn’t use one of its two timeouts late in regulation of their PBA Governors’ Cup loss to San Miguel Beer on Sunday night.

With the score tied at 89-all and Ginebra still with two timeouts, the Gin Kings still had six seconds to set up a possible game-winning play as Cone frantically signalled for a timeout from the sidelines.

No one among the Ginebra players called time, leading to a hurried play that ended with LA Tenorio hoisting a desperation heave from near midcourt that didn't come close to going in.

The Gin Kings wound up surrendering a 111-105 decision in double overtime.

Cone was obviously not happy with the mixup at the end of regulation, but a day later insisted Tenorio’s decision to go straight for a shot had his approval.

The two-time grand slam coach also owned up to the oversight, saying he didn't remind his players about the two timeouts at their disposal during the timeout.

“Those were my fault. I didn’t remind the guys during the timeout, and I even told LA that if we got a rebound to push it and get a screen, so that was his mindset,” Cone admitted in a text message a day after loss.

[See LA Tenorio explains failure to call timeout late in loss to SMB]

The Gin Kings also had a chance to call for a timeout and set up a play late in the second extra session while trailing by four points, but Japeth Aguilar opted to go straight for a layup that missed.

Cone, however, was quick to put the incident, as well as the loss, behind him.

“That is spilled milk,” the league’s most successful coach said. “We move on and get better for it.”

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[See Enough of moral victories. Ginebra must learn to win tight games, says Cone]

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos