Tim Cone is expecting Brgy. Ginebra’s veterans to bounce back from a forgettable performance in the series opener of their best-of-three quarterfinals duel with Meralco last Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Cone said the Gin Kings were simply outplayed by a determined Bolts squad eager to get back at their regular Governors’ Cup Finals tormentor. The disappointing loss pushed the crowd darlings on the brink of elimination going into Game 2 which is scheduled on Friday, July 29, 3:00pm at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.
“It was a little embarrassing out there. They got everything they wanted,” said Cone on the lopsided defeat.
“A lot of our vets did not step up. We need them to step up and play well in the playoffs and they did not just get that.”
Chief playmaker LA Tenorio typified the team’s struggle as the 38-year old veteran was held scoreless after missing all of his 5 attempts in 32 minutes of action.
Scottie Thompson was the lone bring spot for the 2020 All-Filipino champs as the reigning league MVP finished with 29 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals.
The vaunted twin tower combo of Japeth Aguilar and Christian Standhardinger could only account for a combined 22 points and 9 rebounds, a big drop from their average combined output of 30.2 points and 18.1 boards per contest.
While Brgy. Ginebra has a 6-0 advantage in the two teams’ head-to-head battles in the playoffs, Meralco has gotten the better of its rival in the ongoing conference with the Bolts winning by an average of 14 points in their 2 meetings.
“It is on us to get better prepared next time out. We just did not play well at any facet of the game,” said Cone. “They’re doing something that is causing us some problems that we have to try and figure out through video.”