Kings’ beating from Hotshots could turn out to be a blessing

Ginebra star Scottie Thompson (proper) finds the door slammed to his face by Magnolia import Antonio Hester. —AUGUST DELA CRUZ

Nothing has modified for Barangay Ginebra even after a 118-88 blowout by the hands of its sister crew Magnolia within the Philippine Basketball Affiliation (PBA) Governors’ Cup on Sunday.The Gin Kings are nonetheless the defending champions right here and have been essentially the most dominant squad within the season-ending event—they received 4 of the final 5 editions of the Governors’ Cup. And extra importantly, for this version, it was solely Ginebra’s first loss in 4 video games.

However all of that might not persuade Tim Cone from seeing the loss for what it was.

“It simply changed into a very embarrassing evening,” he stated on the heels of the fancied duel at Mall of Asia Area in Pasay Metropolis.

“Tonight was really our first [championship] hangover evening. I imply, we simply didn’t have it. I attempted exhausting, we tried exhausting to get on them at halftime. [The players] got here out with a bit bit of fireside to begin a run, however we simply couldn’t maintain it.”

Save for the primary six minutes of the competition, Ginebra hardly discovered methods to match the enemy’s zest. They wound up shedding in practically each statistical contest of the sport as nicely, aside from second-chance factors and blocks.

The Gin Kings additionally trailed by as many as 31 factors within the recreation.

“I hate to confess this, however we actually have been a drained crew tonight, and you’ll see it in our physique language [and] our lack of exercise. We simply weren’t getting up and down the ground, we weren’t transferring with out the ball. The ball was transferring slowly tonight, and we have been late on all of our rotations,” Cone stated of the loss which pushed the membership all the way down to fifth place.

“It was an ideal storm: We have been drained, and we performed a crew that was determined and has discovered life with a brand new import, and simply got here out they usually out-physicaled us and out-energized us,” he added, whereas ruing the densely-packed schedule his crew has been on since profitable the Commissioner’s Cup.

On-loan stars

Ginebra is likely one of the three professional groups tapped to mortgage its stars to the Nationwide Workforce that might be wrapping up its Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers marketing campaign on Feb. 24 and 27 at cavernous Philippine Area in Bulacan.

Amongst these standouts is Justin Brownlee, who was held to only 22 factors—additionally essentially the most by any Gin King that evening.

“I simply need to give Magnolia a whole lot of credit score. They performed an awesome recreation. I don’t need to take something away from their win. They deserved it, they performed exhausting, and had an awesome recreation plan,” Brownlee, a naturalized Filipino, stated.

Silver lining

“For us, after all, we’re coming off a championship. We’ve had a whole lot of success and began off 3-0. [But] this loss, you recognize, it may be constructive,” he added. “Hopefully, we will collect ourselves from this loss, study loads and transfer ahead. Perceive that if we come out and play mediocre [basketball] and never mentally targeted, this might additionally occur not solely in opposition to Magnolia however a whole lot of groups.”

Cone additionally noticed a silver lining within the stand.

“It was good to have Christian [Standhardinger] again tonight, and he performed prolonged minutes in order that was very encouraging. LA [Tenorio] performed a little bit of prolonged minutes tonight, too. So, hopefully, we’re getting a bit bit wholesome as we await Japeth [Aguilar] to return,” stated the Grand Slam coach.

The Gin Kings might want to seize essentially the most out of these positives, what with a killer stretch forward. Nonetheless on faucet for the group darlings are San Miguel Beer, Meralco, Converge, and TNT—which have mixed for 15 wins in opposition to a mere three losses to create a three-way tie on high.

“We’ve got to ensure we’re able to play all out,” Brownlee stated. INQ

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