No gifts for birthday boy Cone as Ginebra suffers worst season loss

MANILA, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra had hoped to gift Tim Cone a win for his 62nd birthday, but everything did not go as planned. 

In fact, Barangay Ginebra suffered its worst loss of the season as it opened its best-of-five semifinals series against NorthPort with a 90-124 blowout in the PBA Governors' Cup on Saturday, December 14. 

"They wanted it more than we did and [this is] one of the worst first games I've ever been involved with. They beat us in all facets of the game," Cone said. 

Barangay Ginebra led 22-20 after the opening frame before fizzling out in a terrible second-quarter showing where it scored only 17 points – the same output NorthPort import Michael Qualls had in the period. 

That turned out to be the turning point as the Batang Pier never relinquished their hold of the upper hand again before completely breaking the game wide open with a 46-point outburst in the final quarter. 

Garvo Lanete led that charge with 21 fourth-quarter points, nearly matching the Gin Kings' 22 points in that period. 

"It was a very ugly performance. It was embarrassing," Cone said. 

The rigors of non-stop basketball seemed to have taken their toll on LA Tenorio, Stanley Pringle, Japeth Aguilar, and Greg Slaughter, who helped Gilas Pilipinas win gold in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. 

Only Pringle managed to breach double figures with 21 points, while Aguilar, Slaughter, and Tenorio scored only 8, 4 and 3 points, respectively. 

However, Cone said it was not the case. 

"I just think the lack of preparation [did us in]," Cone said when asked if fatigue played a factor in the lopsided loss. "We didn't prepare as well as we could have." 

The Gin Kings have a day to regroup as they seek to knot the series in Game 2 on Monday, December 16, at the Araneta Coliseum. –

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.