BOCAUE, Bulacan – Tim Cone admitted the better team won in Game Six on Wednesday night.
Cone noted Ginebra was simply outplayed and wasn't as focused as Meralco, which put away a 98-91 victory to send the PBA Governors Cup Finals to a winner-take-all match.
“We got off to a bad start, they got off to a great start. We tried to make habol the whole game, but we just couldn’t get over the hump,,” said the Ginebra coach after the game played before a league-record crowd of 53,642 at the Philippine Arena.
"We just couldn’t make a big stop when we needed it, we just couldn’t get a big rebound when we needed it," the two-time grand slam-winning coach added.
Like everyone else, Cone is looking forward to a Game Seven on Friday in the world’s largest indoor arena.
“It’s done and over. I guess this is what everybody wanted - a Game 7."
The Kings found themselves stuck in a huge hole early on, falling behind by as many as 20 points (44-24).
While the reigning champions cut the deficit to four points, 90-86, entering the stretch run, Ginebra just couldn't put together its vaunted finishing kick.
"We made a couple of run, but just when we made a big run we just can’t make a big stop, or get a big rebound, or hit a big shot," lamented Cone.
The Ginebra coach said closing out a series, more so in a finals, is the most difficult thing to do even for the most accomplished bench strategist in the 42-year history of the league.
"Close out games are really hard to do. It’s just a hard thing to get done, and I have a number in my career and never found a surefire way to win that close out game," said the 59-year-old Cone, who is in his 30th finals appearance.
But Game Six is history and the Kings need to move on quickly and focus in the team's biggest game this season.
"We can’t spend time feeling bad about Game Six," he said. "We got to move on to Game Seven already."