Brgy. Ginebra head coach Tim Cone did not hide his frustration moments after his team lost to the NLEX Road Warriors Friday at the Araneta Coliseum.
With 1.7 seconds left to play, Cone left the team bench and walked towards the Big Dome tunnel as the Road Warriors escaped with a 114-112 overtime win.
As he exited the playing court, Cone gave NLEX mentor Boyet Fernandez the traditional handshake. Ginebra players gathered at mid-court to huddle in what appeared to be a show of unity.
The owner of league record 18 championships, Cone gave a short talk to players inside the locker room before leaving as he refused to grant interviews with media waiting for him at the hallway.
The reason behind Cone’s actions, according to a team insider, was his disappointment on the defensive breakdowns and useless fouls players committed during the game.
“Ang dami naming fouls, useless fouls,” said a member of the coaching staff who asked not to be named. “Considering the team is aware of the new (league) rules on officiating.”
Ginebra was assessed a total of 37 fouls and gave up 42 free throws, which NLEX converted to 30 points. In comparison, the Road Warriors were only whistled to 27 fouls as the Kings went 19-of-25 free throws.
Japeth Aguilar (nine points and two rebounds) and Chris Ellis (five points and three rebounds) both fouled out of the game as Ginebra played sans 7-foot center Greg Slaughter (measles).