By REYNALD MAGALLON
Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone is hoping Ginebra to reach the same level it has gotten into when the Kings were pushed to their limits to beat the mighty Bay Area Dragons in a grueling and emotional seven-game series to win the Commissioner’s Cup title.
The multi-titled mentor felt that their championship series against the PBA guest team set the bar high for the Kings – something that Cone felt they should meet as they try to defend their title in the Governors’ Cup.
“We just try to set standards for ourselves. We talked about playing at a standard, we had to really lift our game to beat the Dragons,” said Cone.
“We really have to play above what we normally play to beat them and so we set a high standard to try to do that and now, we want to continue to reach that standard everytime that we come out. That’s I hope our motivation, to try to reach that standard,” he explained.
The Kings did display flashes of that brilliant performance in the Finals when they showed great poise down the stretch to douse an inspired stand from the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters to jumpstart their title defense on a winning note, 116-108.
Ginebra was not rattled even when it trailed by nine points after a furious third quarter rally from Rain or Shine. Nards Pinto and Justin Brownlee, rallied the Kings back into the contest before anchoring a pivotal 11-0 run that all but slammed the door on the Elasto Painters.
“We didn’t panic. That’s one of the things that we learn with the Dragons not to panic when you fall behind and they did it with such tremendous job that whenever they got ahead we never panic, we never rush,” said Cone.
“There are times when Rain or Shine is beating us to the ball, beating us to the loose balls, the rebounds beating us down the floor. I thought they played with more effort tonight than we did but we hit big shots when needed, which is kinda the way this team has been playing and we made big stops when we needed,” he added.