Tim Cone takes on another ex-deputy in Koy Banal as Ginebra battles Barako
 “It’s just ironic that the coaches know us better than we do at this point, so they’re taking advantage of that,” says Ginebra coach Tim Cone ahead of the match against a Barako side led by a former deputy, Koy Banal. Czar Dancel

BARANGAY Ginebra’s progress in its education of the triangle offense is set to be known on Saturday as the Gin Kings seek to barge into the win column of the PBA Philippine Cup, taking on Barako Bull at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Tim Cone era started on the wrong foot as the Gin Kings absorbed an 86-78 setback last Sunday at the hands of a Star side that has mastered the triangle in several seasons under Cone.

Cone felt he got outcoached by Hotshots counterpart Jason Webb, who, despite being a rookie, knows how to counter the famed offense made famous by Tex Winter after being under Cone for one year.

The league’s most successful coach takes on a team handled by another one of his former deputies in Koy Banal, who has turned to the triangle for years, but has been forced to shift to a small-ball system that fits his squad.

“(Koy) also knows us really well,” Cone said. “It’s just ironic that the coaches know us better than we do at this point, so they’re taking advantage of that.”

“But we’ll get better.”

The Energy also have a handful of former Ginebra players in JC Intal, Willy Wilson, Mac Baracael, Eman Monfort, Josh Urbiztondo, and James Forrester.

Tipoff is at 5 p.m. in a match preceded by a tussle between Talk ‘N Text and Mahindra two hours earlier.

The Gin Kings showed flashes of their chemistry when they came back from an huge 31-point deficit early in a rally that just fell short.

Expect the Gin Kings to be on the right end of a huge lead this time as the league’s crowd dralings remain the odds-on favorites against the Energy, who are also looking to register their first win after suffering a 93-85 loss to NLEX just last Wednesday.

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Earlier, Troy Rosario faces Mahindra for the first time since the Enforcers traded this year’s No.2 pick to Talk ‘N Text for Aldrech Ramos and Nino Canaleta.

Rosario hopes to bounce back along with Moala Tautuaa after the highly touted rookies put up poor debuts as they step up in the absence of Ranidel de Ocampo, who’s out with a herniated disc.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos