MANILA, Philippines – Ginebra coach Tim Cone believes the Gin Kings gave the San Miguel Beermen a wake-up call of sorts with their 107-99 victory in the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup last Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Beermen entered Sunday night's game with a 6-1 win-loss record, but were outgunned by the Gin Kigns right from the get-go. Ginebra raced out to a 15-3 start, maintained a double-digit spread for most of the way, then held off San Miguel's last-ditch comeback attempt in the final two minutes.
The win was crucial for Ginebra, as it allowed them to tie SMB in the standings with a 6-2 win-loss record. However, Cone also believes that in a way, the loss will benefit the Beermen.
"You know, San Miguel, they need these losses every once in a while, because it gets them going" Cone said with a chuckle in his post-game presser.
"They get one loss, and then, they're awesome again. They've had so much success, and I know, I've been there. It's easy for the players to fall asleep, and you need to be kind of jolted awake," he explained.
"That's kind of what we did."
Cone fully expects San Miguel to recover from their loss, and he sees the Beermen as a "really solid" crew with a good import in Charles Rhodes. "They are really tough," he says.
The Beermen, of course, would rather want to win as many games as they possibly can, especially as they are chasing a spot in the Top 2 that will give them a twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals.
However, SMB point guard Chris Ross acknowledges Cone's point.
"No one wants to lose," he said. "But you learn a lot of things in a win, and you learn a lot of things in a loss."
Like Cone, Ross also expects the Beermen to bounce back quickly from the defeat.
"I know the type of guys that we have in this locker room," he said. "We've bounced back from losses before… I know the character of the guys that we have. Charles is a good character guy also, and I got complete faith I my team that we'll take this loss, and learn from it, and finish strong."
San Miguel will try to bounce back against a slumping Alaska team on Saturday. Meanwhile, Ginebra will try to build on their win against Blackwater on Friday.
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