Barangay Ginebra head coach Tim Cone explained his side to try and quiet the furor that stems from the Kings’ 66-81 loss to sister squad, San Miguel, in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup last Sunday at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena in Pampanga.
Fans have been up in arms over Ginebra’s performance versus San Miguel, describing the effort on social media as “Sagip Kapamilya.” San Miguel came into the game needing a win to keep its playoff bid alive. Fans found it odd that Ginebra played their two stars, Stanley Pringle and Japeth Aguilar, less than their usual workload.
Pringle, who came into the game averaging a whopping 36 minutes, played just 18 while Aguilar, who was playing an average of 28 minutes, saw just 17 minutes of court time.
Cone said he chose to prioritize rest for his rotation players if they fell behind by a huge margin, pointing to the “bigger picture” of the tournament.
“If we lose both of our last two games, we're not assured of Top 4 finish. 2. We had to make a decision. If we fall behind early, we're going to rest guys that were banged up: Stan (Pringle), Jap (Aguilar), LA (Tenorio), JD (Dillinger). We weren't going to risk losing two games trying to fight back in one game,” explained Cone.
San Miguel was up by 18, 53-35, at halftime and eventually pushed their lead to 20 in the third canto. However, Scottie Thompson and Ginebra’s second stringers came alive and helped the team pull to within three.
“I said we would observe our starters in the first few minutes and determine if we would stay with them or go with the second group. It was the second group with Scottie that brought us back to within 3 pts,” added Cone.
Cone ultimately took the blame for the loss, saying that he failed to prepare them well.
“Ultimately, our guys didn’t show up for SMB and that was disappointing and unacceptable. They know that. But that’s also on me. I didn’t prepare them well. It’s always on me to see the big picture. Hopefully, I’m doing that. I truly apologize to the fans if what we did was construed differently,” shared Cone. (JNP)