by Dennis PrincipeOnce a coach decides to use his 11th and 12th man, chances are the game you’re watching has already reached garbage time.
But what is garbage time for some is considered by Brgy. Ginebra coach Tim Cone as a chance to see what his shock troopers have to offer despite the paltry time given to them in a game already settled except for the final score.
Apparently, Jameer Jamito et al failed to make the most out of the minutes they got from Cone during their 101-92 victory over the luckless NLEX Road Warriors Wednesday night at the Cuneta Astrodome.
This explains why Cone, despite his squad leading by more than a dozen points against NLEX entering the final minutes of the game, seemed to be in no mood to celebrate that victory.
“We pretty much took care of business in the third quarter and gave the opportunity for everybody else to play in the fourth quarter,” said Cone “But those guys who got to play in the fourth quarter they’ve got to be able to play. And they should play much better than they did.”
Up by 22 points less than three minutes remaining, Cone fielded in seldom-used 6-foot-11 rookie Jericho De Guzman to join Jamito, Chris Ellis, Paolo Taha and another rookie Aljohn Mariano to provide their starters some rest.
Jamito earned the ire of Cone for giving two illegal picks on offense and was obviously displeased as his bench unit seemed contented in going through the motion of an already dull game.
The match ended with the winless Road Warriors able to make the final score look a little more respectable.
“The end of that game kind of gave a sour taste in my mouth. Guys coming off the bench gave up 15 points of our lead in the last five minutes of the game. That shouldn’t happen,” said Cone.
The win was Ginebra’s third straight after losing their conference debut. They will next face perennial title contenders TNT KaTropa this Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.