Brgy. Ginebra lost the opener of its best-of-five semifinal series with elimination round topnotcher TNT, Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum and head coach Tim Cone felt the defending champions didn’t play to their lofty billing by committing crucial turnovers down the stretch which paved the way for the KaTropa to seize control of the game and draw first blood in the highly anticipated match-up.
With TNT up by 2, 91-89, going into the final 2 minutes of the game, back-to-back turnovers by Stanley Pringle and Justin Brownlee prevented the Gin Kings from equalizing or even taking and lead and instead allowed the KaTropa to increase their advantage to 4 after Terrence Jones scored on a drive.
“We didn’t play up to par down the stretch. We gifted them with some turnovers and we were rushing all game long. I just didn’t like we played in terms of tempo,” said Cone during the post-game interview.
While the setback was indeed a hard pill to swallow given that the Gin Kings even enjoyed a 10-point lead in the latter stages of the 3rd period, Cone is far from being alarmed at the team’s current predicament.
“It’s not a one-game series, it’s a five-game series. Yeah, were down, but this is not foreign territory for us,” said the league’s winningest mentor.
“We know what it’s like to be down in a series. We would have preferred we won Game 1 for sure. We feel good about ourselves and we feel we’re gonna bounce back well in Game 2. We’ll see.”