Uichico not bothered by Cone remark installing SMB - not TNT - as team to beat
'SMB is the barometer for all teams," says TNT coach Jong Uichico. Jaime Campos

TNT Katropa coach Jong Uichico said he doesn't take offense from Ginebra counterpart Tim Cone overlooking the Texters as the top contender for the PBA Governors Cup championship.

Truth be told, Uichico even agreed with Cone's perception about San Miguel being the team to beat with the season-ending conference down to its Final Four phase.

"No offense taken because it's true," said Uichico when asked if the TNT franchise was somehow offended with the remarks Cone made.

"Even I would say that SMB is still a strong team," Uichico stressed. “I don’t feel any offense on what coach Tim said.”

Shortly after arranging a semifinal showdown with San Miguel Beer on Friday night, Cone announced in his post game interview that the Kings had the most difficult path toward the championship since they will be up against the reigning champions.

"With apologies to Talk N Text, but to me, San Miguel is still the team to beat," Cone said emphatically.

[See Cone says San Miguel - not TNT - is team to beat in playoffs]

His statement came almost a week after the Kings were clobbered by the Texters, 104-92, in Binan, Laguna to secure the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.

But all these hardly bothered Uichico.

“Even if we beat Ginebra or even San Miguel, I still feel, SMB is the barometer for all teams,” he said about his former team. “Everybody naman, I think, feels San Miguel is very strong.”

For the record, the top seeded Texters also routed the Beermen, 105-85, in Batangas City.

Still, the playoffs are a different level where teams raise their games a notch or two higher. And for a team as complete as San Miguel, its certainly a big edge, according to Uichico.

“They’re a complete team. They have a 6-9 center, a good point guard. They have too many weapons. Wala kang iisipin talaga,” he pointed out.

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The Texters could meet the Beermen again is in the best-of-seven finals if they get past Meralco in a best-of-five semis series that begins Tuesday.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos