Tim Cone isn’t making a big deal out of Ginebra’s seemingly easy 102-87 win over Meralco in the Finals-opening game of the PBA Governors’ Cup Friday night in Lucena.
But the American coach wouldn’t want that 15-point win to get into their head.
“The last time we played Meralco last year (in the Finals), they won Game 1 and we ended up winning the championship. So that’s a cautionary tale for us. We have to make sure we don’t make a big deal out of Game 1,” Cone said, whose team tries to go up, 2-0 on Sunday when action shifts at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Cone also expects the Bolts to regain their shooting in Game 2. While he didn’t mention who he expects to explode this Sunday, it’s obvious that Meralco’s Chris Newsome and Jared Dillinger are among the players who Cone expects to bounce back strong following so-so stints in Lucena.
The 6-2 Newsome shot just 3-of-10 overall to finish with 6 points, while Dillinger went 1-of-11 from the floor, including just 1-of-9 from three-point zone.
“They’ve (Bolts) been awesome all conference so we expect them to come back and hit shots at Araneta,” said the 2-time PBA grand slam champion coach.
“That’s where we all play and where they are comfortable. So we expect them to hit shots and we expect a much bigger battle in Game 2.”
The Bolts ranked first in three-point shooting percentage this conference, making 37 percent of their shots from long range.
But in Game 1, the Bolts’ guns suddenly went cold from the outside after making just 8-of-34 from beyond the arc for 24 percent.
Cone calls that cold-shooting night an “anomaly”, which is why he expects the Kings to work on defending the perimeter come Game 2.
“We just got to continue to try to defend, get out on theperimiter which we didn’t do a lot (in Game 1) but we didn’t pay for it because they missed shots,” he noted.
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