COACH Tim Cone and the rest of San Mig Coffee try to finish off embattled Barangay Ginebra when the two teams face off Monday for Game 6 of the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup semifinals series at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Mixers are coming off fresh from a heart-stopping 79-76 win going to the 8 p.m. match and lead the best-of-seven series, 3-2.
“Now we kind of have a twice-to-beat advantage. We’re like this with Petron. We were down 2-3 (in last season’s Governors Cup), but we end up winning (the series),” Cone noted.
“We learn by experience.”
But the American coach admitted closing out the series against an opponent noted for its “never-say-die” spirit won’t be easy.
“It (Game Five win) just gives you the lead, but the hardest part is to close out the series. We’ll try to turn around and see if we can do it,” he added.
Cone, tied with the legendary Virgilio `Baby’ Dalupan as the winningest coach in the 39-year-old history of the league, is eyeing to steer the Mixers to their fourth Finals appearance in the franchise’s last six conference.
On the other hand, Ginebra coach Ato Agustin said more than the X’s and O’s, mental toughness is a prerequisite for the team to win the last two games of the series and earn a trip to the Finals.
“Of course, Game Six is more on mental (preparation). Physical (preparation) nandiyan naman na iyan. Wala nang X and O diyan,” Agustin pointed out.
“Alam na lahat ng mga players ano ang adjustments. Imagine pang fifth time na ito na nakalaban namin sila (Mixers) so alam na namin paano sila maglaro,” he added.
It will be interesting to see how Ginebra ace point guard LA Tenorio will bounce back from a subpar Game Five performance that saw him score just seven points on 3-of-13 field goal shooting and a conference-high six turnovers.