TIM Cone felt Barangay Ginebra didn’t play like the defending PBA Commissioner’s Cup champions that it is down the stretch in its Game 1 loss to TnT Katropa on Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Kings committed two crucial turnovers inside the final three minutes with the game tied at 89-all which the Katropa turned into precious baskets that gave them a four-point lead as well as momentum going home.
Although turnover stats had the reigning champions and top-seeded TNT almost equal at 19-18, the back-to-back errors of import Justine Brownlee and Stanley Pringle hurt Ginebra’s cause.
“We didn’t play up to par down the stretch. We gifted them with some turnovers and we were rushing all game long. I just didn’t like we played in terms of tempo,” said Cone following the loss which saw the Kings squander a 72-62 second-half lead.
If it’s any consolation, Cone said the series opener was ‘a great game,’ and sees the Kings bouncing back in the best-of-five series like they always do in the playoffs.
“It’s not a one-game series, it’s a five-game series. Yeah, were down, but this is not foreign territory for us,” he said.
“We know what it’s like to be down in a series. We would have preferred we won Game 1 for sure,” he said. “We feel good about ourselves and we feel we’re gonna bounce back well in Game 2. We’ll see.”