BARANGAY Ginebra came out with a sense of urgency in the second half of Game One of its PBA Governors Cup semifinals series against San Miguel Monday night, which proved to be the turning point of the match and paved the way for the No. 3 seeded team to clinch the win.
Unknown to many, it took coach Tim Cone to shed a little bit of blood – literally – for the reversal to happen.
SPIN.ph has learned from sources that the multi-titled coach had to call the shots for the Kings in the second half with a small cut on his head after being hit by a chair which Cone himself threw in a fit of rage inside the dugout at the halftime break.
The Kings trailed 57-46 after the first two quarters as the Beermen banked on their sizzling outside shooting to take control of the series opener.
Sources said Cone was so furious about Ginebra’s flat start in its first semifinal game over the last two years that he excused himself prior to talking with the team at the half and retreated to an empty, adjacent room.
It was there where the multi-titled mentor let out his frustration by throwing a chair so strong that it bounced off off the floor and eventually hit him in the head.
Ginebra officials and personnel were mum about the incident.
Shortly after, the Kings came out with fire in their eyes and went on a 33-19 tear in the third quarter anchored by import Justin Brownlee and the duo of Japeth Aguilar and Solomon Mercado to finally wrest the upperhand, 79-76, entering the fourth.
The Kings eventually won, 115-108, for a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
A calmer Cone faced members of the media shortly after for the customary post-game interview but didn't talk about the incident, although the two-time Grand Slam winner admitted he "certainly didn’t have confidence in that first half."
“I just felt we really didn’t know how hard we had to play to win a game like this against a big-time opponent like San Miguel Beer and that is kind of what we talked about at halftime,” he said without hinting a bit about the incident.
“And then guys came out and played, and raise the level of their games in many ways.”
It was later learned Cone refused to be attended to by team doctors and said he’ll just have the cut and bump treated with a hot compress once he gets home.
But certainly, he didn’t want the same thing to happen again in the series, which resumes Wednesday with Game Two set at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“We had to bleed for that Game One win,” Cone said in a fitting text on Tuesday when asked about the prospect of repeating in Game Two. “We can’t have a repeat of that first half whereby SMB really outclassed us.
“We need to get off to a more focused start.”