DUBAI – Ginebra hasn’t played according to expectations, but coach Tim Cone believes it’s not the time yet to push the panic button.
Despite starting the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup by losing their first two outings, the Kings come to their game against the Alaska Aces here on Saturday (early Sunday morning, Manila time) optimistic that everything will eventually fall into place for the team.
Cone said the signs are obviously there.
“We’ve adopted well to what we do in practice, but come game time and under the bright lights, we haven’t learned to keep our discipline,” admitted Cone in his first statement to the media since making himself scarce following the Kings’ stunning 82-79 upset at the hands of Barako Bull on Halloween.
“But I am happy with the players’ effort. We knew we’d need to be patient. We still have a lot of work to do.”
The loss to Barako was certainly a heartbreaker for the Kings, who enjoyed lead of as much as 21 points late in the first quarter only to melt down in the stretch run behind a solid Barako Bull charge.
The Kings are currently 0-2 in the standings in the company of Mahindra and Meralco at the cellar, numbers not expected from a team filled with hope coming into the season mainly for having pulled off the biggest coup of the offseason when it landed the multi-titled Cone as new coach.
Cone said the feeling is just as mutual.
“We’re not where we want to be at this point, but it’s certainly not panic time,” stressed the most accomplished mentor in the 41-year history of the league.
Alaska counterpart Alex Compton also knows the Kings are poise for a breakout game, and he could only hope it won’t happen in their game against the Aces.
“Ilan beses nang nag-champion ang Purefoods (Star) sa kanya (Cone) na parang 1-4 ang start niya. So I don’t look at the record, I look at the man coaching the team, and I have great cause for concern,” noted Compton.
“You know Ginebra, they’re incredibly talented, they’re super talented. They’ve got the best coach, and it’s just gonna take time learning the new system,” added the Alaska coach.