BARANGAY Ginebra is again staring outright elimination as it finds itself in another must-win situation in the PBA Philippine Cup playoffs.
For coach Tim Cone, it’s something the Kings have become used to.
“Another do-or-die game for us – what else is new?,” said the Ginebra mentor the day after the Kings were pushed on the brink by the Star Hotshots following an 89-80 loss in Game Five of their semifinal showdown.
The Hotshots have regained the lead in the best-of-seven series, 3-2, and could close out their long-time rival and return back to the Finals after three seasons with another win on Sunday.
But Cone remains cool and confident, aware the Kings still have a lot of fight left in them.
“We expect to be better the next time and push this series to a Game Seven,” said the most accomplished coach in the PBA’s storied 42-year history.
Cone wouldn’t want to use it as an excuse, but noted his team just played its seventh game in the last 13 days.
The first two of those matches were both do-or-die encounters against Alaska, the second seeded team which the no. 7 Kings ousted by negating the Aces’ twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals.
“It looked like we hit the proverbial wall, we just didn’t have a lot of gas in the tank,” he said. “It happens.”
He however, isn’t taking anything away from the Hotshots, who Cone acknowledged, was the better team Friday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“Give all the credit to Star. They outcoached us, outplayed us, and outhustled us,” stressed the 58-year-old mentor.