One step backward, two steps forward.
That’s what B-MEG coach Tim Cone aims to accomplish after benching his key players in Game Three of the Governors’ Cup finals against Rain or Shine.
“We knew that we would take one step backward resting them and getting them fresh for Sunday’s game. Now, we’re hoping we will take a couple of steps forward for the rest of the series,” wrote Cone in a text message to InterAKTV on Saturday.
Cone expects James Yap and Peter June Simon to play with renewed vigor after limiting their minutes in Friday’s loss to the Elasto Painters. Yap played just 22 minutes, while Simon saw action in just 24. Neither player played in the fourth quarter of the game.
Two other key players, import Marqus Blakely and Marc Pingris, also saw limited court time last Friday, checking into the game in the fourth quarter with just three minutes remaining.
Resting his key players, according to Cone, will be vital coming to the tough grind of the series.
“I’m a big-picture thinker. I’m more concerned about winning the series than winning the game.”
Cone is hardly the first player to use the ploy of benching key players in early games in a series.
In the 1980 Open Conference, U/Tex coach Tommy Manotoc tried a similar tactic against Toyota.
“Tommy pulled out his import Aaron James and Glenn McDonald and key local players Bogs Adornado, Lim Eng Beng, and Fritz Gaston with still more than six minutes left in Game Four with Toyota ahead by 11 points,” said PBA amateur historian Jay P. Mercado.
When pressed for an explanation, Manotoc replied: “One step backward, two steps forward.”
U/Tex ended up winning the title in overtime in Game Five. Cone could only hope that his ploy bears similar results.
» GlobalPort denies any interest in controversial former Rain or Shine import Jamelle Cornley
» Beau Belga still waiting for visa to join rest of Gilas in Lithuania
» Lucrative extension from Rain or Shine awaits newest Gilas member Beau Belga in August