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    Tim Cone regrets decision to play zone defense as SMB gunners shoot lights out

    Oct 2, 2016
    San Miguel fans lap up the blowout victory in Game Four. Jaime Campos

    TIM Cone owned up for the blowout loss Barangay Ginebra suffered at the hands of San Miguel Sunday night that forged a do-or-die battle for a berth in the finals of the PBA Governors Cup.

    The 58-year-old coach admitted he made a grievous mistake of opting for the zone defense against the defending champions, who made him pay by hitting their outside shots with stunning consistency on the way to the 101-72 rout in Game Four witnessed by a crowd of 22,196 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

    Marcio Lassiter sizzled from the perimeter for the Beermen, going 7 of 10 from beyond the arc to finish with a team-high 25 points.

    In all, San Miguel shot 42 percent from downtown, making 15 of 36 attempts.

    “My mistake early, I tried to conserve our guys and play zone to start the basketball game. And they hit like five or six shots in a row right off the bat and that kind of got them going,” noted Cone. “And we never had any answer from the opening bell.

    “But it’s something that I have to live with as a coach, making that bad decisison.”

    [See Lassiter on fire as SMB denies Ginebra to force do-or-die Game Five]

    Good thing, the best-of-five series is just tied at 2-2, and the Kings still have one more shot at nailing a first finals berth in the last three years when Game Five is played on Tuesday.

    While the Ginebra defeat was an eye sore, Cone said it doesn’t really matter what the final winning margin was. A loss is just a loss.

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    “In the big scheme of things, in the big picture, a 30-point loss is the same thing as a one-point loss in a series. You win by 30 points doesn’t mean you get an extra win under your belt,” he stressed.

    “We feel fortunate that we’re getting a Game Five, that we’re playing a Game Five.”

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    San Miguel fans lap up the blowout victory in Game Four. Jaime Campos
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