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Cone mulls shuffling Ginebra starters in Game 5 vs Meralco

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - Philstar.com
Cone mulls shuffling Ginebra starters in Game 5 vs Meralco
Ginebra head coach Tim Cone
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MANILA, Philippines -- Will Tim Cone pull off a Yeng Guiao in the pivotal Game 5 of Barangay Ginebra's PBA Philippine Cup semis series against Meralco?

After going down a 2-1 hole in the first three games in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals against the Bolts, Cone and Ginebra opened up Game 4 a little bit differently.

The PBA’s most titled coach started LA Tenorio and Stanley Pringle in Game 4, instead of sticking to Mav Ahanmisi and Ralph Cu.

The veterans Tenorio and Pringle were inserted alongside regular starters Scottie Thompson, Christian Standhardinger and Japeth Aguilar, and, despite playing with three guards, it worked wonders.

The sudden lineup change resulted in a 90-71 wire-to-wire win over the Bolts that tied the series up at two games apiece.

Cone said that after being “totally outplayed and outcoached” in Game 3, and winning Game 4, the coaching staff will see if they will employ the same strategy going into the must-win Game 5.

“Game 3, we were so totally outplayed and outcoached. We had to come up and do something different. Now, whether or not this will hold and be okay for Game 5? We’ll have to take a look,” he said.

“Maybe we come out with another lineup that maybe they’re not expecting, pull a Yeng Guiao. Or maybe we come back the same way. These are the things we have to think about. We only have one day to think about it and decide,” he added.

The Gin Kings locked Meralco up and forced them to make just 23 of their 70 field goals, good for 32% shooting.

The Bolts were also held to their season-low in points.

Cone also underscored that he is sure Meralco will make the necessary adjustments come Sunday.

“They have a great coach over there. Like I said, I’ve totally felt that I’ve been outcoached this whole series,” he said.

“And he’s really a great coach so he’s gonna make some really good adjustments and we’ll see where we’ll go from there.”

The two sides will be battling for the series lead on Sunday, 6:15 p.m., at the Mall of Asia Arena.

“Game 5’s really gonna be pivotal. No doubt about it.”

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