ALL the celebration had to eventually take its toll at some point and it finally did on Sunday night.
Ginebra coach Tim Cone felt the championship hangover finally hit the reigning PBA Governors’ Cup winners in their 91-84 loss to GlobalPort in Philippine Cup action.
In their third this season and almost two months after ending an eight-year title drought, the Gin Kings fell into an early 18-point hole then launched a comeback they couldn’t sustain against the Batang Pier.
As a result, the Gin Kings fell below .500 after absorbing their second loss in three games.
“As much as I hate to admit it, we played an almost ‘perfect’ championship hangover game,” Cone told SPIN.ph on Monday night. “My coaching had as much to do with it than anything the players did.”
The Gin Kings actually shot better than the Batang Pier did, making 47 percent of their shots, six percent better than their opponents, even outrebounding them, 46-42, and dishing out more assists, 25-13.
Ginebra, however, committed 20 turnovers, compared to just nine by the Batang Pier, who translated the Gin Kings’ errors to 21 turnover points.
LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar, despite emerging as the two bright spots with 23 points apiece, were even the first to admit that their team lacked focus as they couldn’t find an answer to Terrence Romeo, who dropped 35 points in 38 minutes.
And it seems they need to recommit to whatever made them successful last conference to get back on track.
“I and we need to change our approach,” Cone said. “We can do better. We’re all disappointed.”
After their first three games were played only on a Sunday, hardly allowing them to get a rhythm, the Gin Kings welcome back-to-back games for a change as they return to the court on Friday against Mahindra before taking on Alaska just three days later.