Ginebra still ‘growing,’ says coach Tim Cone after PBA Governors’ Cup Finals loss
MANILA, Philippines—Barangay Ginebra will have room to grow, believes coach Tim Cone, after the Gin Kings surrender their hold of the PBA Governors’ Cup to new champion TNT on Friday.
While Cone and his Kings couldn’t extend their reign on the season-ending Governors’ Cup to three straight years, the fact that the core of the team is brimming with potential served as a silver lining for the multi-titled mentor.
“We would have loved to win this one but it wasn’t meant to be but we still have [room for] growth on this team,” said Cone after the Gin Kings’ 97-93 defeat to TNT at Araneta Coliseum.
“Jamie (Malonzo) and Miah (Gray) are still growing. Christian (Standhardinger) had a great conference, Justin (Brownlee) was Justin and Scottie (Thompson) was Scottie.”
WATCH: Ginebra coach Tim Cone after losing in Game 6 of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals. #PBAFinals | @MeloFuertesINQ pic.twitter.com/AM7Tm3HX2h
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In his last game of the season, Malonzo gave it all and played for nearly 44 minutes on the court, resulting in 21 points, six rebounds, two assists and a block.
Standhardinger, like his usual Best Player of the Conference self, flirted with a triple-double of 16 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Brownlee also positively bounced back from food poisoning with a double-double of 29 markers and 12 boards.
Thompson also impacted all ends of the floor with 20 points, eight rebounds and nine dimes.
Gray, however, only finished with four markers on an abysmal 20 percent shooting clip from the field, sinking only two of his 10 tries. The sweet shooter also had a forgettable Game 5 with 10 points, built on only four made baskets after 11 attempts.
Despite the Fil-Am’s shooting woes, though, Cone assured that his quest for the offseason is to keep the core intact.
The first order of business, as it seems for Cone, is Malonzo’s expiring contract.
“We’re going to try and keep this team intact as possible. I think Jamie is the only one with the expiring contract. Hopefully, we keep the core intact moving forward.”
The offseason, however, is still quite a number of months away as the league gives way for the Gilas Pilipinas campaign in the Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia and the Fiba World Cup hosted by the country.
For now, Cone will gather his Gilas cohorts from Ginebra and go to work. After all, there is no rest for the weary.
“In the meantime, [it’s] back to work for me, Scottie, Jamie, Justin and Japeth if he continues to get better. [We’ll be] back to work for Gilas. No rest for the weary, just keep moving forward.”
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