Ginebra almost pulled the rug on San Miguel after trailing by as much as 23, but a better start to the game might have prevented them from having to climb that mountain of a deficit in the first place.
Tipped against a Beermen side that were expected to be explosive after a humbling opening day loss to Columbian, the Gin Kings allowed themselves to fall into a 0-7 hole in just the first two minutes of the contest.
They eventually fired back and momentarily took the lead midway through the first period, but SMB unleashed a couple of telling runs spanning from the second and third quarters to bury them by double digits.
“We knew that they were going to come out with great force after their loss and we needed to match that and we didn’t, so I’m very, very disappointed with our effort, especially early in the game. We weren’t able to do anything we needed to do and they were getting everything they wanted to,” head coach Tim Cone rued.
“Sa akin, start of the game pa lang. We started flat. Yes, we made a run in the last quarter pero para sa akin, hindi na dapat umabot pa doon situation if we took care of business from the start of the game,” LA Tenorio said.
The loss wasted a terrific late-game effort from Tenorio, who buried two straight threes to cap off a 14-3 Ginebra run that turned a 91-75 SMB cushion to just a 94-89 lead with under two minutes remaining.
“Our offense naman is equal opportunities. Of course, it’s based on Japeth (Aguilar) and Greg (Slaughter) but more so, it’s about ball movement and player movement. But tonight, hindi naming masyado pinakita yun. It’s more on individual talent especially in the last quarter, eh hindi iyon ang laro namin. So again, ibabalik ko doon sa start of the game. We started flat offensively and defensively,” he added.
This would have been a great time to steal a game from San Miguel as they entered their second assignment of the conference without Alex Cabanot (nose) and Terrence Romeo (ankle).
“Kahit kulang-kulang yan, beterano yang mga yan eh. Kumbaga sa sitwasyon nila kanina, wounded tiger sila dahil kulang kulang sila. But they know how to play in this kind of situation. Pinakita nila na yun yung San Miguel team na defending champions,” Tenorio added.
Ginebra lost in the assists department, 18-24, and even though they won the battle on the boards by a mile, 54-38, they still allowed San Miguel to bury 15 of their 35 attempts from beyond the arc.
“It was good to see us come back like that, but they pretty much dominated the whole game. We like the way we came back, but we don’t like the way the way we played overall,” Cone explained.
(Photo credit: PBA Media Group)