Brgy. Ginebra’s back-to-back losses to TNT and Meralco doesn’t bother Tim Cone a bit.
The 64-year old American mentor recently spent some time away from the team to serve as guest assistant coach for Miami Heat in the NBA Summer League. With him gone, lead assistant Richard del Rosario took the cudgels and led the crowd darlings to a 2-2 record.
The twin defeats meant that the Gin Kings won’t be in contention anymore for the twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinals.
Cone, however, remained confident that his team has got what it takes to go all the way regardless of their standing.
“We go through these stretches. I think anybody who follows Ginebra closely the last five, six years, we got through these stretches where we don’t play particularly well. But we have a way of picking it up for the playoffs,” said Cone during an interview arranged by the Miami Heat for select Filipino reporters before leaving for Manila.
“I wouldn’t say that’s by design but there is a certain part of the conference where we kinda motor it down a little bit. Because we just came from the championship, we won three of the last four, that’s always extra playing,” he added.
The league’s winningest mentor admitted that he wasn’t surprised at the loss to Meralco.
“We always seem to lose to Meralco in the eliminations. They come to get us because we beat them in the finals and they come to get us in the eliminations. We kinda expect. They are pumped and prepared and we are like ‘Meralco again.’ I’m not surprised that they beat us up. I’m just glad I wasn’t there when they did it.”
The Gin Kings have two more games in their schedule starting with NorthPort on Sunday, July 17 and Phoenix on Thursday, July 21.
“We are not a team who panics. We aren’t going to panic,” expressed Cone.