PBA: Tim Cone is at a loss: Unanswered questions remain after Ginebra’s humiliating defeat

Mar 18, 2024

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Tim Cone, the head coach of Ginebra, was extremely disappointed and perplexed following Friday night’s loss against Meralco at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

It made complete sense, given that the Kings’ perfect two-game start to the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup was terminated by a crushing defeat.

It was shameful; the victorious bench strategist informed the media as he was leaving the Big Dome.

The Kings were eager to continue their winning run against a Bolts team that was experiencing a two-game losing streak, having recently emerged victorious from their conference finals over Rain or Shine and Phoenix.

However, they had a poor start, and the remainder of the evening revolved around that. They were behind by as much as thirty-one points in the end, losing 91-73.

The fact that top playmaker Scottie Thompson is still sidelined with a persistent back ailment could have been a significant contributing factor.

Three games into the all-Filipino competition, the crew is currently averaging 18.3 turnovers per game. This might also be attributed to the manner the fan favorites handled the rock as it committed 19 turnovers. There were just six Bolts.

Furthermore, the Kings’ offensive performance that night was also lacking. Out of 60 field goal attempts, they made only 33.3% of them, with a dismal 3-of-21 performance from beyond the arc. That is, following sixteen drills against the Fuel Masters.

However, Cone was unable to see any problems at all, and his 65-year-old mentor is only praying that this conference will be different.

The seasoned coach stated he had no idea what had transpired, thus he was unable to respond to inquiries.

On Friday night at the SMART Araneta Coliseum, Meralco stopped Ginebra’s two-game losing streak with a 91-73 thrashing, turning what looked like a battle into a lopsided mauling.

After jumping out to a 19-8 lead, the Bolts broke away wide in the second quarter and maintained their lead the entire time, preventing the incomplete Kings from mounting a comeback and ultimately suffering their first defeat following a 2-0 start.

With 25 points off the bench on 64% shooting from the field, including a 4-of-7 clip from beyond the arc, Allein Maliksi led the attack.

The Bolts led by as many as 31 points, 71-40, in the third quarter because of contributions from Chris Newsome (19 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists) and Aaron Black (12 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists).

After a protracted layoff, Meralco (2-3) will play Terrafirma again on April 3 at 4:30 p.m. at the Big Dome as well.

Contrarily, Maverick Ahanmisi, who finished with 14 points and six rebounds, led Ginebra, which is still without its primary playmaker Scottie Thompson due to an ongoing back injury.

In the lopsided defeat, Christian Standhardinger and Japeth Aguilar each contributed 13 points and pulled down 13 rebounds.

Despite having momentum going into the contest, Ginebra got off to a poor start. It was restricted to only 14 points in the first quarter and was trailing 46–27 at the half because the team was unable to establish a rhythm.

The popular favorites made 19 mistakes, which has been a problem for them thus far in the conference. Following the defeat, they are now averaging 18.3 TOs.

After a lengthy layoff, Ginebra will attempt to recover against rival Magnolia on Sunday, March 31, at 6:15 p.m. in Araneta as well.

The Scores: 

Meralco 91 – Maliksi 25, Newsome 19, Black 12, Mendoza 8, Banchero 5, Hodge 4, Quinto 4, Pasaol 4, Almazan 3, Caram 2, Rios 2, Pascual 2, Dario 1, Torres 0.

Ginebra 73 – Ahanmisi 14, Standhardinger 13, J.Aguilar 13, David 8, Onwubere 6, Malonzo 4, Tenorio 3, Pessumal 3, Gumaru 2, R. Aguilar 2, Pringle 2, Pinto 1, Cu 0.

Quarter scores: 23-14, 46-27, 76-52, 91-73

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