Cone hoping for the best as ‘Clasico’ caps Ginebra’s grueling 4-game swing
BARANGAY Ginebra is set to play the third of a four-game, seven-day opening week in the 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup on Friday when it faces NorthPort at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
And head coach Tim Cone said their schedule to start off the new conference feels like deja vu.
“We have to get the ones we can get because our schedule is so compressed. It’s almost like playing a best-of-seven right now,” said Cone.
Ginebra has already hurdled Rain or Shine and NLEX last Sunday and Wednesday, and is now slated to take on NorthPort on Friday before the ‘Manila Clasico’ affair against Magnolia Chicken Timplados, both at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Cone said the experience of playing in the Commissioner’s Cup Finals recently against Bay Area will be beneficial in dealing with the tough schedule.
“We play every playdate. Good news is that we are experienced in a seven-game series. Hopefully, we’ll do better but we can’t pingpong it back and forth like we did with the Dragons,” said Cone, referring to the Commissioner’s Cup finals where both teams took turns in winning games.
But the schedule won’t still be easy after this four-game swing. Adding to the grueling eliminations is the possible Gilas Pilipinas call-up of the core of the players including newly-naturalized player Justin Brownlee and reigning MVP Scottie Thompson.
“The condensed schedule that we have, we start off playing Sunday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday; then we play Friday [and] Sunday; then when we come back from Gilas, most of them are star players on the Gilas team, they finish their game on the 27th, and then March 1st, they go back at it, Sunday, Wednesday, Sunday again. So the schedule is really condensed for us and a tough thing to overcome,” said Cone.