Tim Cone blames no one but self for Ginebra's PH Cup semis exit

MANILA, Philippines – There were a lot of what-could-have-beens after Barangay Ginebra crashed out in the semifinals of the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup but head coach Tim Cone is taking all the blame.

Cone expressed disappointment in himself following the San Miguel Beermen's 100-94 Game 5 triumph over Ginebra on Saturday, March 17, that saw the Gin Kings' All-Filipino conference come to a halt. 

Ginebra looked like it was on its way to extending the best-of-7 semifinals series to a 6th game by leading 92-87 midway through the 4th quarter only to witness the Beermen display their championship poise to secure the win. 

Cone also mentioned their 102-104 Game 2 overtime loss last March 11 that could have leveled the series at 1-all.

"I'm angry that I didn't do enough for them, couldn't win the games, some of the games we should have won down the stretch – Game 2, tonight," said the 60-year-old tactician. 

One of Cone's biggest what-ifs is the looming return of star center Greg Slaughter, who suffered a sprained ankle and had not seen action since the playoffs began. 

Without Slaughter, San Miguel center and reigning 4-time Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo had his way inside, posting averages of 20.8 points, 12.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.2 blocks in the series. 

"We had Greg practicing for a little bit yesterday so he was coming close to coming back but we just couldn't stay alive long enough to have him back," Cone said.

"But you know, those things happen. So I'll be angry at myself and I'll be real proud of our guys," he added.

Ginebra and Cone turn their focus to the upcoming Commissioner's Cup. – 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.