Tim Cone slams starters for disappointing performance in loss to SMB

After a 95-82 loss to San Miguel in the PBA Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup on Friday, Brgy. Ginebra coach Tim Cone praised the effort of his second unit, who nearly led the Gin Kings back from a 24-point deficit.

However, he criticized the lackluster play of his starting five. Cone specifically highlighted the strong performance of the quintet of import Tony Bishop, Stanley Pringle, Sidney Onwubere, Von Pessumal, and rookie Raphael Cu.

The group’s 23-9 run late in the game cut San Miguel’s lead to just 79-75 with a little over five minutes left. But clutch baskets from Jericho Cruz and Chris Ross allowed the Beermen to hold on for the win, sending the crowd darlings to their second straight defeat.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the guys who finished the basketball game, but I couldn’t be more disappointed with the way our first group played,” said Cone.

“That first group is there not because of their names or who they are, but because they deserve it. They’re supposed to be earning it every night, (but) tonight they didn’t,” he added.

Christian Standhardinger, Maverick Ahanmisi, Jamie Malonzo, LA Tenorio, and Bishop started the game for the defending champions.

“The second group came out, played so much better, came with life and intensity,” stressed the league’s winningest mentor.

Pessumal scored all 11 of his points in the fourth quarter, while Pringle scored 10 of his points in the same period.

Bishop contributed eight of his game-high 20 points during the stretch when the Gin Kings made a run, giving their sixth man inside the Big Dome reason to cheer.

Unfortunately, Brgy. Ginebra could not complete the job and faltered the rest of the way.

“It’s just a really disappointing performance overall,” said Cone.

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