Brgy. Ginebra suffered three straight setbacks in the Finals of the PBA Season 47 Governors’ Cup which allowed TNT to eventually wrest the crown via 4-2 victory in the best-of-seven series.
The crowd darlings won two of the first three games but couldn’t pull off another one as the Tropang Giga clinched their first ever Governor’s Cup title since joining the league in 1996.
Gin Kings head coach Tim Cone commended the flagship team of the MVP group for a job well done.
“They played really well. They played well all the way through. They certainly deserved it more than anything,” said Cone who absorbed his first defeat in the championship of the season-ending conference in six appearances.
“We would have loved to win this one. We’ve been able to win back-to-back, but it wasn’t meant to be.”
Cone refused to put the blame on the unfortunate food poisoning incident of Justin Brownlee in Game 5. The team’s resident reinforcement could only account for 14 points, 4 rebounds and no assists in 25 minutes of action. He was yanked out of the match after the 3rd canto and was immediately brought to the hospital.
And just when things were starting to fall into place in Game 6, Mikey Williams drained a clutch three-pointer from the top of the key that gave his team the upper hand, 95-93, with only 1:15 left on the game clock. Brownlee then missed the potential game-tying basket to seal the fate of the Gin Kings.
“Wow, that shot of Mikey Williams off the backboard was backbreaking,” said Cone who nonetheless acknowledged the work done by his counterparts on the TNT bench.
“It’s a tough coaching staff to go against, with Jojo, Chot, and Josh (Reyes) and the Serbian coach (Lale Guronivoc). For me, it’s a tough one to go to against these guys.”
Despite the painful loss, Cone remained upbeat on the future of his squad.
“Jamie (Malonzo) and Miah (Gray) are still growing. Christian [Standhardinger] had a great conference, and Justin was Justin, and Scottie was Scottie. We’re really pleased with this team. We’re really looking forward going into the next one.”