Nothing has changed for Barangay Ginebra even after a 118-88 loss at the hands of sister team Magnolia in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Governors Cup on Sunday. The Gin Kings are still the defending champions here and the most dominant team in the season-ending tournament — they’ve won four of the last five editions of the Governor’s Cup. And more importantly, for this release, it was just Ginebra’s first loss in four games.
But all of that could not convince Tim Cone to acknowledge the loss it inherently has.
“It just turned into a really embarrassing night,” he said after the legendary duel at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
“Tonight is really our first time [championship] hangover night. I mean, we don’t have it. I tried my best, we tried our best to get past them during halftime. [The players] made a little fire to start running, but we couldn’t sustain it.
Saving the first six minutes of the competition, Ginebra barely found a way to match the enemy’s zest. They also lose in almost every statistical contest of the game, with the exception of points and second-chance blocks.
Gin Kings also leads by 31 points in the game.
“I hate to admit it, but we were a really tired team tonight, and you can see that in our body language. [and] our lack of activity. We don’t go up and down the floor, we don’t move without the ball. Tonight the ball was moving slowly and we were late on all of our turns,” Cone said of the loss that sent the club down to fifth place.
“It was a perfect storm: We were tired, and we were playing against a team that was desperate and found life with a new opponent, and by the time they got on the field they were exhausted and exhausted. draining us of energy,” he added, while lamenting the hectic schedule his team has carried out since winning the Commissioner’s Cup.
Ginebra is one of three pro teams to lend their stars to the National Team that will wrap up the Fiba World Cup Asia Qualifier campaign on February 24 and 27 at the Philippine Gymnasium in Bulacan. .
Among those standing out was Justin Brownlee, who held only 22 points — also the highest score of any Gin King that night.
“I just want to give Magnolia a lot of praise. They played a great game. I don’t want to take anything from their victory. They deserved it, they played hard and had a great game plan,” said Brownlee, a naturalized Filipino.
“For us, of course, we are going to win the championship. We had a lot of success and started 3-0. [But] This loss, you know, it can be positive,” he added. “Hopefully we can pick ourselves up from this loss, learn a lot and move forward. Please understand that if we go out and play mediocre games [basketball] and without mental focus, this can happen not only to Magnolia but also to a lot of teams.”
The cone also sees a silver lining in the holder.
“It’s good to have Christian [Standhardinger] back tonight, and he’s played many minutes so that’s very encouraging. LA [Tenorio] also played a little extended minutes tonight. So hopefully we’ll get a little healthier as we wait for Japeth [Aguilar] to come back,” said the Grand Slam coach.
Gin Kings will need to make the most of those positives, with a killer stretching ahead. Still continuing to garner crowd favourites, San Miguel Beer, Meralco, Converge and TNT — combined for 15 wins with just 3 losses to create a top three.
“We have to make sure we’re willing to play hard,” Brownlee said. request
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