TIM Cone was qiuck to temper expectations after an impressive win by Barangay Ginebra over the Jordan national team in a tune-up game on Thursday, saying the popular ballclub is still a 'long way' from where it wants to be.
Ginebra's 94-85 win impressed Jordan coach Rajko Toroman, who immediately noticed the improvements in Ginebra's play in its first tune-up game since two-time grand slam coach took charge in the offseason.
Cone, however, warned it's too early to gauge Ginebra's gains this early in its buildup for the coming season, pointing out that a game against Jordan cannot be a reliable yardstick on how his team will fare against other PBA ballclubs.
The former Star and Alaska coach also pointed to 'holes' in Ginebra's defense as well as a number of 'awkward offensive possessions.'
"It's hard for us to say how well we played because it is difficult to tell how Jordan measures up to other PBA teams," said Cone in a telephone interview done on Thursday afternoon.
"We seemed to have played ok, but there were a lot of holes in our defense and we had some awkward offensive possessions. We still feel we have a long way to go."
Asked how well Ginebra's players are grasping his trusted triangle offense, Cone said, "May be five on a scale of 10. But I'm more concerned defensively than with the triangle."
Japeth Aguilar, Toroman's former player at Gilas 1.0, led the team in scoring with 20 points while frontline partner Greg Slaughter added 17 in a show of force for the Ginebra 'Twin Towers.'
Cone was also quick to praise the game of former league MVP Mark Caguioa, who had nine points, all in the secon quarter, and Tenorio (13 points) as well as Chris Ellis' play on the defensive end.
"Greg and Japeth played well, but more importantly they played well together," Cone said. "But I was more impressed with the play of Mark and LA and the defense of Chris."