Cone: We didn’t defend


BARANGAY Ginebra San Miguel head coach Tim Cone has one primary reason why the TNT Tropang Giga won Game 3 running way.

“We didn’t defend,” the 65-year-old Cone, the most successful coach in the Philippine Basketball Association, told BusinessMirror the morning after the Gin Kings absorbed a 116-104 clobbering from the Tropang Giga.

“We hit 3s too, but it’s all about defending and I’m not talking about shooting.”

The best-of-seven championship series for the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup crown is not tied at 2-2 with Game 5 set at 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday also at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Tropang Giga were simply unstoppable from three-point territory in Game 4, making 21 of 43 attempts for a new league record.

Ginebra attempted less with 30 and made half of them.

TNT played without main gunner Roger Pogoy because of a fractured hand but his average 12-point production was never missed in the game as Ginebra couldn’t defend the 3s fired by Jayson Castro, Kib Montalbo, Calvin Oftana, Mikey Williams and even Glenn Khobunting.

That disappointed Cone as his Gin Kings allowed Castro to score 17 points, Montalbo, Williams and Oftana 16 points each and Khobunting eight points.

“We didn’t rebound,” said Cone, who owns 25 PBA titles with two grand slam conquests. “It was disappointing on many levels, it’s embarrassing.”

Justin Brownlee finished with 28 points—within his usual production—but his TNT counterpart Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who snapped his string of Best Import awards, played inspired for 36 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.

Most Valuable Player Scottie Thompson also kept his numbers with 22 points, nine rebounds and six assists, but Christian Standhardinger wasn’t entirely in the form as the Best Player of the Conference and had 10 points and nine assists.

“What we did was we went back to what we do best and that’s executing proper spacing to allow our shooters to get their shots,” TNT coach Jojo Lastimosa told the post-game press conference Sunday.

The series has seesawed—Ginebra won Game 1, 102-90, TNT clinched Game 2, 95-82, with an impeccable tough from downtown, and the Gin Kings got their shooting back in Game 3, 117-103, with a franchise record 18 triples.

Read full article on BusinessMirror