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PBA: Tim Cone wants ‘better 48 minutes’ from Ginebra after escape act with San Miguel


Tim Cone Ginebra PBA

Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone. PBA . IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines-Down one star, Barangay Ginebra persevered through Sunday night, coming back from the hole by 19 points to stun San Miguel Beer, 97-96, to move up the PBA Commissioner’s Cup standings .

Coach Tim Cone was delighted to get past the Beermen’s team ridiculously deep, but the seasoned coach knows there are more sustainable ways to guarantee a win.

“We can’t win games like this,” he told the Inquirer, shaking his head as he walked out of the Smart Araneta Arena in Cubao.

“We have to play better for 48 minutes, not just six or eight good minutes at the end of the game,” he added. “You only catch fire once in a while.”

Heroes appeared heavily for the non-Christian Standhardinger Gin Kings in the clash, with resident immigrant Justin Brownlee leading the way with 33 points. Jamie Malonzo and Japeth Aguilar also finished with double figures while making the important plays stretch.

But they are not bigger than the reigning Best Player Scottie Thompson, who took three winning games with 4.8 ticks left to give the beloved franchise its fifth win in seven debuts.

“I think he just doesn’t have the pressure,” Cone said of his ward. “I think he really becomes comfortable in those situations and takes those big shots.”

Thompson said he’s lucky he’s reached that triplet thanks to the outstretched hand of San Miguel importer Devon Scott.

“It’s a pretty exciting feeling, but as the coach said, we can’t win games like this,” he said. “We still have a lot of tweaking to do, and some plays to get used to. I’m just grateful that we’re getting what we want, which is getting as many wins as possible. “

“This (motivation) prepares us for the knockout stages, and it also gives us a neat spot (in the race),” he continued.

As things stand, Barangay Ginebra is now fourth in the Commissioner’s Cup. Gin Kings is on track for one of the three best series in the quarterfinals and is still in contention for the two-beat bonus.

San Miguel, meanwhile, is down 3-4 and is holding that No. 9 spot while waiting for Mar Fajardo in June, who continues to recover from the procedure to repair his injured throat.

Cone will leave Gin Kings in the care of deputy Richard del Rosario as he helps Chot Reyes and Gilas Pilipinas in a pair of Fiba games in the Middle East, but he remains steadfast in his belief that his charges will remained sharp until he returned for PBA duty.

“As long as we stay focused on practice,” Cone said. “As long as these guys come to practice every day and work, I think they can continue to maintain momentum. When you get kampante (smug) and you relax, that’s when you lose momentum. “

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