THE road to PBA Governors’ Cup crown still goes through San Mig Super Coffee.
That’s what the Mixers reminded Barangay Ginebra and the rest of the field on Sunday when they sent the Kings crashing back to earth with a clinical 102-90 victory at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The defending champions reaffirmed their status as the team to beat while keeping the Kings’ stature as an emerging squad.
And Mixers coach Tim Cone hopes the roles remain the same — at least until they capture a rare grand slam.
“Obviously this is an up-and-coming team, Ginebra. And we hope they stay (just) up and coming for a while,” the American mentor said with a sheepish chuckle.
“Let them get to the top in the next conference or so. But this conference, we’re still battling for it and, as I often say to our team, it’s still our time,” the most successful coach in PBA history added.
Cone, however, felt they actually did the Kings and his former understudy Jeff Cariaso a favor by dealing them a humbling loss.
“This, if anything, will be good to them,” he said. “Number one, they’re gonna have to respond to adversity for them to grow, and then number two, see what teams are going to do against you and grow from it.”
“That’s the process of building a team, he added. “That’s something we’ve been through and we’re reaping the rewards of that right now.”
Cone believes the Kings will eventually get there, but is hoping not too soon.