San Miguel Beermen defeated Brgy. Ginebra San Miguel 4-1 in a best-of-seven series for the second consecutive season but Gin Kings head coach Tim Cone remained proud of his wards despite falling short of their target of dethroning the Beermen for the second year in a row.
Brgy. Ginebra lost Games 1 and 2, won Game 3 before succumbing to pressure in Games 4 and 5 to formally bow out of the race for the 2018 Philippine Cup title.
“I’m real proud with our guys for battling the way they did, they played real hard, real well. We just couldn’t finish the game,” said the 20-time PBA champion coach.
Cone lauded the performances of Japeth Aguilar, Scottie Thompson, Sol Mercado and even new recruits Raymond Aguilar and Prince Caperal.
“Japeth really stepped up,” said Cone of the high-flying native of Sasmuan Pampanga who top-scored anew for the embattled Gin Kings with 32 points. “We got great performances from Prince and Raymond. Sol played real well tonight.”
“Scottie was incredible all series long,” added Cone.
Thompson, who was coming off a 1 point, 0 rebound performance in Game 4, bounced backed strong in Game 5 and finished with 10 points, 16 rebounds and 16 assists.
Once again, Cone pinned the loss and eventually the inability of the Gin Kings to advance to the conference Finals on himself.
“I’m angry that I didn’t do enough for them. Couldn’t win the game, some of the games we should have won down the stretch, Game 2 and tonight. But those things happen. So I’ll be angry at myself but I’ll be real proud of those guys.”