B-MEG fans were bewildered when Llamados coach Tim Cone seemingly flew the white flag early in his team’s loss against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in Game Three of the Governors’ Cup finals.
Cone took out James Yap, Peter June Simon, Marc Pingris, and import Marqus Blakely with the Llamados down big to end the third quarter. Neither Yap and Simon played in the fourth quarter, while Blakely and Pingris returned with less than three minutes left in the game.
Some observers wondered if it was a psychological ploy to send a message to his stars. Cone’s answer, however, was much simpler.
“We felt we’ve played with so much energy in Game Two and that took a lot from us in Game Three, so I decided to give James, PJ, Marqus and Marc the needed rest,” said Cone.
Cone added that it was a move he employed when he was coaching Alaska’s dynasty in the 1990s.
“I’ve done that as well with Jojo (Lastimosa), Johnny (Abarrientos) and Bong (Hawkins).”
Cone was aware that some fans may criticize him for the move, as B-MEG looked like it was still in the game when he took out his stars.
“It may not be a popular decision, but I felt that’s the best way to preserve the energy from these guys come Game 4,” he said.
“My job is not to make the crowd happy. My job is to win championships for our organization.”
Cone said the ploy of giving his guys much-needed rest will be crucial not only for Sunday’s Game Four, but for the remainder of the series.
“I’m a big picture thinker,” said Cone. “I’m more concerned about winning the series than winning the game.
“We’re worn out. Our road is a bit tougher than Rain or Shine. We got one play date break from semis, then we played Game One. We played our best game in Game Two because we have a two-day break. Fatigue will be a big hurdle for us in our series, so we have to give these guys some rest.”
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