Nothing wrong with Standhardinger and Thompson, says Tim Cone

Tim Cone’s decision to pull out Christian Standhardinger and Scottie Thompson during the crucial stretch of Barangay Ginebra’s final game in the PBA Philippine Cup eliminations against NLEX was a strategic move to give other players the opportunity to gain valuable experience and prepare for the playoffs.

Cone clarified that there was nothing wrong with Standhardinger and Thompson; he simply wanted to rotate his lineup and keep his key players fresh for the upcoming postseason.

“Nothing happened to Scottie, nothing happened to Christian. I just needed guys to go out there,” said 25-time PBA champion mentor.

Despite Standhardinger’s impressive performance of 19 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists, Cone opted to rest him early in the fourth quarter with the team trailing.

Thompson, on the other hand, did not see action in the final period as Cone turned to other players like Japeth Aguilar, Stanley Pringle, Maverick Ahanmisi, and Ralph Cu to lead the comeback attempt which eventually fell short.

“Sometimes we rely too much on Christian and Scottie. Guys kind of forget to play on their own, so it was important for us to get Stanley out there in that stretch, without having to look for Scottie and look for Christian,” Cone explained.

“He (Stanley) kind of have to look for himself and that was kind of the point, playing the other guys down the stretch.”

The balanced scoring from Aguilar, Ahanmisi, Pringle, and Cu showcased the depth of the Gin Kings’ lineup and their ability to compete even without their usual starters on the floor. This move not only allowed Standhardinger and Thompson to recharge and stay healthy but also gave the rest of the team a chance to step up and contribute in their absence.

“Now they’re (Thompson and Standhardinger) healthy, and we want to keep them healthy. That was important to us,” said Cone.

As Brgy. Ginebra prepares to face Magnolia in the quarterfinals with a twice-to-beat advantage, having a fully rested and healthy roster will be crucial for their success in the playoffs.

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