Tim Cone readily admitted that Brgy. Ginebra defended poorly during Game 4 of the best-of-seven championship series against TNT.
As a result, the Tropang Giga coasted to a 14-point victory, 116-104, and equalized the Finals duel to 2-games apiece going into pivotal Game 5 which is set on Wednesday, April 19, 5:45pm at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The sorry defeat is something that the defending champions hope to immediately set aside and forget.
“We just played badly today. We didn’t start the game well. We didn’t defend, we didn’t rebound,” said a visibly disappointed Cone shortly after the match.
“It was disappointing in many levels. It’s embarrassing.”
While the Gin Kings did fairly well from beyond the arc, hitting 50% of their attempts (15-of-30), the Tropang Giga fared better by setting a new PBA Finals record of 21 made threes (out of 48 attempts for a 48% shooting clip). The flagship team of the MVP group also had more second chance points, 18-10, and bench points, 30-17.
The Gin Kings led only once at 3-0 before allowing their opponents to take over and dictate the tempo for the duration of the match. The Jojo Lastimosa-mentored squad established their biggest lead of 23, 48-25, after a jumper by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson at the 7:33 mark of the second frame.
“We hit 3s, too. But we didn’t defend. That’s what I’m talking about. I’m not talking about shooting, I’m talking about defending,” said Cone who is gunning for his 26th PBA title.
“It’s one game. It’s a series. We’re tied now and it becomes a best-of-three. We’ll get ready for Wednesday,” he added.