Tim Cone looking to avoid lower-ranked San Miguel in the quarterfinals

Brgy. Ginebra’s quest to defend the Commissioner’s Cup crown is gaining steam after winning crucial games against Alaska and Magnolia to formally qualify for the next round but head coach Tim Cone remains cautious of the Gin King’s chances with a dangerous team like San Miguel still lurking around.

“Obviously, we’d love to be top two, but that’s already decided. We just need to be in the highest seed that we can get and hope we avoid San Miguel coming into the playoffs,” said Cone after their win against the Hotshots.

“We respect all the teams but obviously, we really don’t want to play San Miguel in a quarterfinal match. No one wants to play San Miguel in the quarters,” he added.

The Beermen are currently mired in the bottom half of the team standings but are known to pick things up when the going gets tough. SMB team captain Arwind Santos even said that the team’s target is the 8th spot and then overcome the top-seeded team’s twice-to-beat advantage to get into the next round.

“The cream always rises to the top, I always say that. The last year of this conference, we were 1-5 or 1-6 and we finished as the sixth seed and we went on a run and won the championship. So early results don’t really matter that much,” said Cone.

“You want to get ahead, it’s an easier road to the playoffs. You always want to do that and find the easiest road to the championship but teams like San Miguel, they don’t worry getting off to slow starts. They know they are going to pick up and get there and it doesn’t matter really what seed they are going to get into because they are good to beat anybody at any given circumstances,” he added.

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