Cone says Commissoner’s Cup title series taught Gin Kings to set bar high

Coach Tim Cone was the first to admit that Barangay Ginebra’s recent Commissioner’s Cup championship against Bay Area Dragons taught them a neat lesson on raising a higher standard in terms of playing every game.

Not that the Gin Kings weren’t giving their best every time they are on the court, but the American mentor believed their title run, which saw them outlast the Dragons in seven, grueling matches in the Finals, gave them a new motivation to continue what they were able to develop.

“We just want to set a standard for ourselves. We really have to lift our game to beat the Dragons, and we really had to play above what we normally play to really beat them so

we set a high standard in trying to do that,” Cone said, moments after Ginebra’s conference debut that saw the league’s most popular squad subdue a fighting Rain or Shine side, 116-108 Sunday evening.

While the at some point in the game, Cone admitted the Elasto Painters outworked them in the hustle plays and rebounding, Ginebra showed the poise that the team was able to learn during its title series against Bay Area.

“We didn’t panic, which is one of the things we learned playing the Dragons, because whenever we get ahead (in the Finals game), they never panic, they never rushed

and we felt that’s something we learned from them, we didn’t rush when we fell behind,” explained the PBA’s all-time winningest coach.

Three-time PBA Best Import Justin Brownlee typified the Gin Kings’ newfound motivation as he started the conference with a triple-double output of 29 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.

Backup guard Nard Pinto, also came out with big plays down the stretch, including two crucial triples to finish the game with 12 points, three assists and two rebounds in 20 quality minutes.

Ginebra will be shooting for its second straight win to start the conference when it goes up against hot-streaking NLEX, one of three teams with 4-0 records at the moment. They faced off this Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

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