Tim Cone wary of rivals’ ‘pure center’ imports as Ginebra guns for twice-to-beat

May 26, 2017 - 2:33 PM
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PBA Media Bureau
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Barangay Ginebra is already assured of a quarterfinals berth, but the team still aiming for a twice-to-beat ticket in the Oppo PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

After winning against erstwhile no. 1 team San Miguel Beer Sunday night, the Gin Kings (6-2) put themselves in a solid position for finishing at the top two.

“We’re looking at the standings and seeing that we’ve clinched a top six spot, but we want to be greedy and go for that top two. If we win out in our last three games, then we’ll assure ourselves of a top seeding, so every game is crucial for us starting with Blackwater,” Cone said.

But standing in Ginebra’s way are matchups with Blackwater on Friday and Meralco on Sunday–two teams with strong and big imports whom Cone believes will give his team a tough test.

Blackwater’s Greg Smith, Gilas’ candidate for naturalization, currently leads the league in rebounding with 22.4 a game to go along with 26.8 points per outing.

Meralco’s Alex Stepheson is second in the boards department with 21 a game while averaging 16.9 points in the tournament.

“We’ve got a tough schedule. We’ve got big imports the rest of the way. We play the Blackwater import and we play the Meralco import. Both are huge imports. We don’t really have a match up. So, it will be interesting to see how we can perform against those guys,” said Cone.

Cone said their size and strength would be a matchup problem for the Gin Kings who are still missing prized center Greg Slaughter.

“Really, the two pure centers in the league are Blackwater and Meralco imports. It’s gonna be tough. The other ones are power forwards, small forwards, so we can kinda match up. It’s the big ones that we’re going to have trouble matching up with. We have a week to prepare for Blackwater and those big imports. We’ll try to figure something out,” he said.