PBA: The coach of Ginebra calls the Game 7 defeat to Meralco “crushing to all of us.”

Jun 3, 2024

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It would be an understatement to say that Tim Cone was disappointed by Barangay Ginebra’s defeat to Meralco in their crucial match. He believed he had let the many Ginebra supporters down in addition to his squad.

It was quite distinct. Cone and the team feel a little off because Ginebra has traditionally advanced to the championships.

The fact that the squad lost Game 7 when the team’s motto, “never say die,” would have come into play at this exact moment made the team and their supporters even more disappointed.

At the FPJ Arena in San Jose, Batangas, Game 7, the Meralco Bolts defeated the Gin Kings, 78-69. Rather than Ginebra meeting the challenge head-on, its rivals demonstrated tenacity and willpower to secure a place to the championship game versus San Miguel Beer.

Notably, it was the first-ever victory for Meralco in a Game 7 and the first-ever defeat for Cone, whose squad lost to B-Meg in the 2012 Governors’ Cup finals between Rain or Shine.

On Wednesday, San Miguel and Meralco kicked off their best-of-seven series title match.

Cone acknowledged that it was challenging to identify the series’ advantages following the defeat.

However, he brought up Christian Standhardinger’s brilliant play, injured Scottie Thompson’s tenacity, and team captain LA Tenorio’s stellar performance—which came just after a cancer struggle.

Standhardinger had a 22 point, 9 average. In Game 6 of the seven-game series, which Ginebra sadly lost, he recorded a career-high 41 points, five rebounds, and five assists for the Kings.

However, he was limited to just 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists in the defeat in Game 7, as well as 6-of-17 shooting from the field and 4-of-12 foul shooting. 

Cone also gave Thompson, the previous MVP of the league, credit for his struggles during the series while playing with a back problem.

Thompson attempted to rally the Kings back but was unable to do so. In Game 7, he finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists. Thompson had an average of 8.0 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 3.3 assists.

“Scottie displayed his character by playing through a debilitating bulging disc in his back,” Cone remarked.

Tenorio, too?

Cone expressed his happiness at seeing his veteran captain in good health, even though he only played a few minutes, a year after receiving a colon cancer diagnosis.

“Having LA back in the lineup and healthy was one of the great PBA stories,” noted Cone of the 39-year-old guard.

For the first time since 2016 did Barangay Ginebra not make it to a conference final during a PBA season.

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