LUCENA—While Barangay Ginebra dominated Meralco in the Finals-opening game Friday, Tim Cone already warned his players to brace for a more determined, more motivated Bolts side when Game 2 moves back to Smart Araneta Coliseum two days from now.
Cone was surprised to see Ginebra outplay Meralco in Game 1 Friday night, while watching the Bolts hit just 24 percent of their three-point shots (8-of-34 overall).
“It’s an unusual night for them (Bolts). They did miss a lot of open three-point attempts and maybe it’s the unfamiliarity with the rim, or with the court, but on the other hand, we hit our shots and we played well,” Cone told media men, moments after Ginebra hammered Meralco, 102-87 in Game 1 of their Governors’ Cup Finals at the Quezon Convention Center.
“I thought that we’d struggle playing out of town but they came out a little rusty. And they didn’t look real sharp. So we just got them in a night where they may not be totally prepared,” he added.
Best Import candidate Allen Durham, who normally gets most of his shots inside the paint, went 0-of-5 from three-point zone.
Ranidel de Ocampo missed all his 4 attempts from beyond the arc while Jared Dillinger went 1-of-9.
Only sophomore guard Baser Amer did well from long range after connecting 3 of his 4 three-point attempts, finishing the game with 14 points.
“I thought we controlled the game pretty much from start to finish,” noted Cone. “But you take everything in Game 1 with a grain of salt because this does not represent anything as the series goes along.”
Meralco actually made a run to cut what had been a 17-point lead in the first half to 71-75 late in the third quarter on a completed 4-point play by Mike Tolomia.
But the Kings showed their championship poise in the final period, outscoring the Bolts, 25-16 with Justin Brownlee and Greg Slaughter putting the finishing touches to give Ginebra a 1-0 series lead in the Finals.
With just 1 day to rest and prepare, Game 2 shifts to Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday where Ginebra tries to erect a 2-0 series bulge.
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