TIM Cone took a dig at officiating in Game Three of the PBA Governors Cup especially with the way the referees called it a little too tight on Barangay Ginebra defensive guard Sol Mercado.
The stocky Fil-Am again had the tough task of taking on Meralco import Allen Durham, but was stymied right away in the opening minutes of the first period when he was whistled for his second personal foul.
Mercado, who suited up despite nursing a flu, never got to finish the game and left in the final 14.5 seconds as the Kings dropped a 107-103 loss to the Bolts and fell behind 1-2 in the best-of-seven title series.
He finished with just four points and a single assist in 18 minutes of play.
“I felt today the referees had an eagle-eye on him. The stuff that he was doing last game he couldn’t do tonight,” said Cone of Mercado, who was successful in holding Durham down in the Kings’ 82-79 win in Game Two.
“Boy, he picked up six fouls in 10-12 minutes of play. It was tough,” he added.
Cone said there’s no way the Kings could stop Durham, who came away with 36 points, 20 rebounds, and three assists Wednesday night, if game officials continue to call it the same way for the rest of the title series.
“If that’s the way its gonna be called against him, then there’s no way we could guard Durham.”
But in all, the multi-titled mentor admitted the Kings were not good defensively.
“Defensively, we weren’t good,” he said. “We just didn’t play to our identity. I was upset from the first minute onward. I was upset for 48 minutes.
“I just don’t think we played to our identity. If we forgot it, then we’ve got to remember it in a hurry, coz these things gonna get away from us if we’re not careful.”