TIM CONE hopes the ‘partial walkout’ instigated by Rain or Shine in Wednesday night’s Game Six won’t detract from the hard work San Mig had put in to win the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup championship.
The Elasto Painters were forced to walk out of the playing court during the early part of the second quarter for what they deemed was `unfair’ officiating, although they were prevailed upon later to return and finish the game.
Cone, however, prefers that fans remember the game as a culmination of the Mixers’ hard work that began when they made their way back from a 1-5 win-loss record in the eliminations, dethroned defending champion Talk `N Text in a quarterfinals series that went the full route, ousted top seeded and crowd favorite Barangay Ginebra in a winner-take-all Game Seven, before finally finishing Rain or Shine in six games to win their sixth All-Filipino title.
“I hope it doesn’t detract from the hard work we put in and into the whole series. We worked hard,” Cone said.
The Mixers won the best-of-seven series against the Elasto Painters, 4-2, including a 93-87 title-clinching win.
“We came out and really played well. I thought we came out really, really well with tremendous amount of energy. I think we outplayed them early,” said Cone.
The San Mig Coffee coach, who just passed legendary coach Virgilio `Baby’ Dalupan for the most titles in PBA annals with 16, admitted the unpopular move made by Rain or Shine somewhat affected the Mixers, allowing the Elasto Painters to charge back and made a fight out of it.
“They came back with the momentary walkout. They outplayed us, no doubt about it. But we were outplaying them,” said Cone.
When asked if he was offended by Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao’s actions, Cone replied, “No comment.”
However, Cone said it was up to his team to respond to what he perceived was a ‘mind game’ played on them by the unpredictable coach.
“Yeng motivates in different ways and we know that. It was up to us to keep being focused and keep trying to win the basketball game. We just want to win the basketball game,” said Cone.