MANILA, Philippines – San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone said he couldn’t blame LA Tenorio for the latter’s error during Barangay Ginebra’s 76-79 loss to the Mixers.
The Gin Kings were staring at a three-point deficit, when Tenorio got the chance to force the game into overtime during the final seconds.
But instead of going for a triple, Tenorio decided to go for a layup and attack San Mig’s defense. He missed the shot and worse allowed the Mixers to grab a 3-2 lead in their best-of-seven semis duel.
Cone said Tenorio got “caught up in the moment.”
“I wasn’t sure myself if we’re up by two or by three, and I can’t blame LA. He got caught up in the moment,” said San Mig’s tactician in the PBA website.
“It’s hard to stay calm in that basketball game,” Cone added.
The San Mig Coffee coach said he was just fortunate that he has a go-to guy they can depend on, and that’s James Yap.
It was Yap who nailed the game-winning triple 13.4 seconds left that stopped the Gin Kings on their tracks.
“In the old days, this team would go to Alvin [Patrimonio] at the post. Nowadays, we go to James,” said Cone.
He said he anticipates another down-the-wire finish with Ginebra the next time they play.
The two teams are scheduled to go at it again on Monday. If San Mig Coffee wins, they will meet Rain or Shine in the finals.
“It’s the ‘Manila Classico.’ It should come down to that last possession,” said Cone.