PLAIN and simple, Barangay Ginebra didn’t play with its fabled never-say-die spirit during its marquee showdown with San Miguel Beer on Sunday night in the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup.
Coach Tim Cone was quick to point this out in the aftermath of the 100-82 rout fashioned out by the defending champions against Ginebra before a crowd of around 8,000 at the Philsports Arena.
It was the Kings’ third loss in four outings.
“We have a history and a legend that we have to live up to and that’s the never-say-die attitude. We just didn’t have that tonight,” said Cone in a straight-forward manner before hurriedly leaving the Barangay Ginebra dugout.
“It’s something that we didn’t have tonight, and that’s something we have to try to build on.”
So disappointed was Cone that he refused to join one Ginebra huddle late in the game.
See the video HERE
The Kings had their moments early in the game, but played catch-up for the most part, especially when they fell behind by double-digit leads in the third quarter.
San Miguel led by as much as 94-71 late in the final period.
Although the Kings shot better from the floor at 41 percent (34-of-74), they failed to connect from three-point range where they ended up 0-for-12.
They also committed 18 turnovers – compared to the nine of the Beermen – which the opposition translated into 21 points. The Beermen also outscored them on second chance points, 23-10, and on bench points, 31-17.
“They’re just too good for us now. That team is just too good,” said Cone of the Beermen. “They’re too honed, they know what they wanna do. They know how to play the game possession by possession, and it’s a thing that we don’t know yet.”
A forlorn Cone admitted he’s disappointed with where Ginebra is right now.
“I’m really disappointed with our plays and disappointed for the fans that they have to watch that,” said the most accomplished coach in league history.
Still, Cone is not about to lose hope, stressing, “we’ll just get better from here.”