Cone upset Ginebra let Nambatac 'be a Michael Jordan out there'

MANILA, Philippines – Tim Cone did not hide his frustrations as Barangay Ginebra failed to remain on the winning track in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup off a lopsided loss to Rain or Shine.

Coming off two consecutive victories, the Gin Kings were heavily favored entering the clash against the erstwhile winless Elasto Painters only to suffer an 81-104 beating on Friday, June 7. 

"Truly disappointed with our performance today. I felt we came out and took Rain or Shine for granted. I don't know how to describe it," a downhearted Cone told reporters after the game. 

"I just can't believe that we would do something like that, just really shocks me that we could take a team like Rain or Shine for granted just because they lost a couple of games." 

A major part of Ginebra's problems were Rey Nambatac and Cone's former reliable import Denzel Bowles.

Nambatac torched the Gin Kings with 30 points on a healthy 10-of-14 shooting, while Bowles frolicked in the paint with 25 points, 17 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. 

"I'm just really disappointed in our effort, defensively especially. We let Nambatac – he played a great game and he's been playing great – we let him be a Michael Jordan out there today," Cone said. 

"Denzel, of course, gave us all kinds of problems matchup-wise. These are things we're going to have to figure out." 

Cone also highlighted the need for the locals to rise to the occasion and not just rely on do-it-all import Justin Brownlee.

Brownlee put on a clinic anew with 30 points, 17 rebounds, 5 steals, and 3 blocks, but did not have much help scoring-wise as Japeth Aguilar was his only teammate in double figures with 17 points. 

"They played a box-and-one against us. Basically, they're just saying to us that they just got to stop one guy and our other 4 guys aren't good enough to beat them," Cone said. 

"Our other 4 guys got to take the challenge and prove that they can go out and win games and not have to rely on Justin so much." 

Ginebra, which now carries a 2-2 card, is not given much reprieve in its next game as it deals with high-scoring import Terrence Jones and TNT at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, June 12. – Rappler.com

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.

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