TIM CONE advised his Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Gin Kings not to entertain a single thought about a semifinals series sweep—not against a team like the San Miguel Beermen.
“You start looking for that sweep, stating that you have that kind of lead, then you make yourself up to be a little bit relaxed,” said Cone on Tuesday ahead of Game 3 of their Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup semifinals duel.
“If you do that against a team like San Miguel Beer, then you’re in big trouble,” Cone stressed.
The Gin Kings are 2-0 over the Beermen, who are bereft of six-time Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo. The 6-foot-10 center is recovering from a complete fracture in his right tibia.
Game 3 is set 3 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, after which TNT and Meralco take the floor at 5:45 p.m. in their own series that is tied at 1-1.
Christian Standhardinger and naturalized player Justin Brownlee were a dominant 1-2 punch in Ginebra’s victories in Game 1, 121-112, and Game 2, 121-103.
Standhardinger posted 32 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in Game 2, while Brownlee also had 32 points with 10 rebounds and seven assists. Standhardinger piled up 33 points plus 10 rebounds and five assists, while Brownlee got 24 points, 12 rebounds and five assists in Game 1.
Season MVP Scottie Thompson wasn’t far behind with his 15 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in Game 1, and a triple-double in Game 2 of 21 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists—with three steals and two blocks.
“Basically, we got one game to play—that’s all we’re thinking about,” Cone said. “The old ‘one game at a time.’ So we’re going to talk about playing one game. We’re not going to talk about anything else but playing one game at a time.”
San Miguel Beer, on the other hand, won’t be rolling over that easily.
“I have to set a mindset of the players that’s never near vacation mode,” beermen coach Jorge Gallent said. “We have to think of winning Game 3—that’s it.”
“Ginebra needs three games to enter the finals. As long as there’s a chance, it’s my job to push them,” he added.
Without Fajardo, Gallent needs more production from CJ Perez, Mo Tautuaa, Vic Manuel and import Cameron Clark.
The Tropang Giga, meanwhile, are bent towards a bounce-back win 124-117 overtime loss in Game 2 last Sunday.