Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone breathed a sigh of relief on Friday after his team squeezed out a tough 100-92 triple overtime victory over Rain or Shine in their final elimination-round game in the PBA Philippine Cup.
But Cone still has some things to address, even as Ginebra has booked a best-of-3 series.
For one, Cone and co. are still unsure when Greg Slaughter is returning.
Earlier this week, Ginebra lost its 7-foot star again after the former Ateneo standout sprained his ankle.
“It was just ironic. We were building our offense around him, get everybody involved (then) he sprained his ankle and he was out,” Cone said after with victory over Rain Or Shine.
“We have no timetable on Greg's return, he could come back some time in the quarterfinals. We're hoping . . . it could be a week, it could be 3 to 4 days.
“It's always a lot harder for 7-footers to recover from injury than the little guys.
“Hopefully he can get back soon.”
Ginebra has dealt with major injuries in the current all-Filipino conference.
“It just seems the whole conference has been Murphy's Law. If something could go wrong, it will go wrong. It's been happening the whole conference long,” said Cone.
“We lost Joe (Devance) and Sol (Mercado) early struggling from their injuries. We lost Greg for a few games, it's been one thing after another. Blown games that we should have won.”
Cone said that, before Friday's game, he received bad news that Japeth Aguilar could miss the game because of back problems.
“One hour before . . . we got a text from Japeth saying he couldn't play because he had a bad back,” he said. “We forced him to play and he could barely walk from the locker room.”
“He was hurting all game long and had to play triple overtime. So big credit for Japeth for fighting through that.”
Aguilar finished with 30 points and 17 rebounds.
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