Coach Tim Cone of Barangay Ginebra believes that their most recent comeback victory is a tribute to their “Sixth Man.”
On Sunday night, the Gin Kings overcame a 19-point deficit to defeat San Miguel Beer 97-96 thanks to a game-winning three-pointer by Scottie Thompson with 4.8 seconds remaining.
Cone praised Thompson and their in-house import, Justin Brownlee, for spotting the defending MVP open in the corner for the game-winning shot. However, the coach also emphasized that they would not have advanced so far in the game without the support of the audience.
Cone made this statement after Ginebra improved to 5-2 in the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup with their third straight victory. “It was Justin, it was Scottie, but we owe this win to the Sixth Man,””They were great.”
The majority of the 10,000-person crowd at the Araneta Coliseum was firmly in support of Ginebra, and they were kept quiet for the majority of the evening as the Beermen won the match. However, they woke up in the fourth quarter when the Gin Kings began their run, and this gave them the energy they needed to cross the finish line.
The crowd’s energy, according to Brownlee, who only missed a triple-double with 33 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists.
“The crowd, they came out and gave us the energy like they do always,” the import declared “Coach just kept telling us that we’re right there. It was hard at first, but once we got some momentum and the crowd got going, we just took off in the fourth quarter.”
In the final period, Ginebra outscored San Miguel 34-16. In the fourth session alone, they forced the Beermen into nine turnovers, which resulted in 15 points.
Cone believed that Ginebra’s defense, as well as the influence of their supporters, were both responsible for San Miguel’s inability to succeed offensively.
“We were playing discouraged basketball, because the things weren’t working for us, and it was sapping our energy. Discouragement always saps your energy,” Cone elucidated. “When we made a couple of plays, consecutively, all of a sudden we were encouraged and that energy came back.”
“The crowd got in it and kept pumping us full of energy. It’s tough. I’ve been on the other side of that Ginebra crowd for 25, 26 years. It’s tough when that crowd gets going — I’m talking about the other team — it’s tough on the other team to make good decisions and make the right plays,” Cone added.
Cone will be joining Gilas Pilipinas for the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifications, therefore this was Ginebra’s final game before a 12-day break. On November 18, the Gin Kings will play their next game against the Blackwater Bossing.
Even though he is also the assistant coach for the national team, the coach encourages his team to remain focused during practice.
“As long as these guys come to practice every day and work, then I think they can keep the momentum going. When you get kampante and you relax, that’s when you lose your momentum,” Cone said.