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PBA: Kings-size hangover

Cone suspects Ginebra nursing some kind of championship funk.

Call it a championship hangover without winning a championship.

Then call it bizarre.

Coach Tim Cone of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel thinks that’s the reason why they dropped their first game against Phoenix Fuel and were sluggish in the first half of their match with GlobalPort.

“It looked like we had a championship hangover without winning a championship which is really bad,” said Cone, referring to Ginebra’s finals loss to San Miguel Beer in the last Philippine Cup.

The popular team lost its opening game to the Fuel Masters last Saturday 94-91, and was down by 13 points in the second quarter against GlobalPort as the Batang Pier took to a 49-36 lead midway in the period.

That’s when the Kings stepped down from their ‘throne.’

After trimming the deficit to 58-51 by halftime, the Kings buckled down to work during a third quarter run behind the combined efforts of import Justin Brownlee, LA Tenorio, Japeth Aguilar, Sol Mercado and young guns Kevin Ferrer and Scottie Thompson.

Ginebra roared to an 85-75 advantage at the end of the third frame – a lead they never relinquished.

Brownlee, who had IV therapy on the eve of the game, led Ginebra with 29 points, Tenorio contributed 15 points, Aguilar had a double-double 13 points and 11 boards while rookie Ferrer added 13 and Thompson 10 with nine rebounds and six assists.

Tenorio, who had a bandage on his left eyebrow after he got hit by GlobalPort forward Rico Maierhofer late in the game, said Cone is right with his observation about the team’s “championship hangover.”

“Yun ang feeling niya na meron pa talaga. As a longtime coach, nakikita niya yun eh, may times na ‘di namin nakikita.

So maybe may championship hangover nga na kagustuhan namin na bumalik agad yung rhythm namin compared sa ibang teams na ilang games na rin naglalaro,” said Tenorio.

“We really have to take it one game at a time para mabago yung rhythm kasi nauna na sila (other teams). Mahaba-haba yung hahabulin namin. The good thing, nakuha namin yung unang panalo for us to get back on track.”