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PBA: Brownlee-Chambers are coach Tim Cone s top-2 imports

In over three decades as a head coach, Tim Cone has built quite the career in the PBA. Coach Tim is widely considered as the greatest, with a record 22 PBA titles and two Grand Slam wins. 18 of Cone's championships came in tournaments with reinforcements, so naturally, he's coached a lot imports during his career. Coach Tim estimates about at least 100, he's not quite sure. However, Cone is pretty sure about his top-2 imports ever. "The top-2 are pretty obvious, and I think they rank in the top list of all-time PBA imports and that's Sean Chambers and Justin Brownlee. They are the top-2," Cone said. Coach Tim made the reveal on the most recent episode of Coaches Unfiltered. "It's interesting because their approach in the game is very similar but their personalities are polar opposites. As you know, Justin is extremely quiet, he's a giggler. He likes to laugh and he likes to hangout with his teammates but he likes to laugh with them but he doesn't lead conversations at all. Justin is like so comfortable to be around," Cone said of Brownlee, his Ginebra star. "On the other hand, Sean is like me, he's a gabber. He talks, talks, talks and he's always creating the jokes and then laughing at his own jokes and people laugh with them. Sean is like the life-of-party type," coach Tim said of Chambers, the foundation of his Alaska Grand Slam. Sean Chambers was Cone's resident import for the Aces in the 1990s, with the crowning achievement being the sweep of the 1996 season. Justin Brownlee is coach Tim's current resident import for Barangay Ginebra. The Gin Kings are a perfect 4-for-4 in the PBA Finals with JB. Both Chambers and Brownlee are successful in the PBA, but their similarities in the league don't stop there. As everyone knows, Brownlee was a replacement for Ginebra in the 2016 Governors' Cup, taking the spot of the injured Paul Harris. [Related: Temp to Champ: Justin Brownlee's Magical PBA journey with Ginebra] Brownlee got cramps in his very first game, a Ginebra loss. Still, he ended the tournament with "The Shot" and a PBA title. Chambers was actually a replacement import for Alaska decades ago. "I didn't recruit Sean, he came in as a replacement just like Justin. He came in as a replacement I think the fourth or fifth game," coach Tim said. "I never recruited him but he grew from 1989 to that Grand Slam team. We were going through 12 Finals appearances in 13 conferences or whatever. He was, he's still the winningest import of all time," he added. Being big on continuity, Cone has been practicing what he preaches since a decade ago with having imports come back multiple times. [Related: No continuity holding Gilas Pilipinas back says coach Tim Cone] Coach Tim first realized his lesson with Chambers and then re-applied in to Brownlee. In between, Cone actually did it with Marqus Blakely too and they won a Grand Slam with San Mig Coffee. "I think one of the things I learned early in my career through having Sean Chambers was that once you get a good import, you stick to him," Cone said. "Don't lose in a semifinals and say, 'oh okay we didn't win the championship, let's get another one.' It's like changing your team game-to-game, you can't do that. You can't have any continuity. The continuity we had with Sean taught me a lot," coach Tim added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJul 5th, 2020

SEA Games: Gilas has 3 practice games lined up as training gets more serious

Gilas Pilipinas practice for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games will be turned up a notch over the next three weeks. The national team will play practice games for the next three Mondays starting Nov. 4 as revealed by head coach Tim Cone. Gilas will take on San Miguel-Alab Pilipinas on back-to-back weeks. Gilas Pilipinas will then play a Taiwanese team backed by imports on Nov. 18. All games will be closed to the public. “We know the people are out there scouting us. And we also want to have total focus cause our time is so short,” head coach Tim Cone said, “We want to have total focus on coming in and playing and working against the Alab team and not having to worry about playing for the crowd, playing for you guys or trying to look good or whatever. We’re trying to do the work. That’s why we’re closing that game out,” he added. The national team only practiced with 13 players Monday as Jayson Castro was out due to injury and Matthew Wright asked to be excused after welcoming his new child to the world. June Mar Fajardo was present but didn’t participate due to a swollen knee. Ginebra super import Justin Brownlee was the 13th player in practice. “We gotta remember, we're only playing a 40-minute game. It's not a 48-minute PBA game, it's a 40-minute FIBA game. Not as many minutes to go around. So 12, 14 players is really too many,” coach Tim said. “But we're gonna try to get everybody out there, give them a feel. That's why we're playing more than one practice game,” he added.   — Follow this writer, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 28th, 2019

PBA: Ginebra’s new weapon could mean trouble for the rest of the league

Well, it looks like both Ginebra and Northport won the blockbuster PBA trade last week. At least for conference with imports, the Gin Kings have perhaps the most explosive duo in the league in Justin Brownlee and Stanley Pringle. If you’re looking for the most simple comparison, think Golden State’s Steph and KD but with a local twist. “When you have two guys like that it’s like a Steph Curry and a Kevin Durant, I mean, who do you guard?” Ginebra head coach Tim Cone said of his new power duo. “That’s what we envision,” he added. For the pair’s first game together — a strong win against NLEX in Batangas — Brownlee dropped 39 points while Pringle had a cool 16 on 60 percent shooting. It’s certainly encouraging for Ginebra that Brownlee can still get his numbers and usual impact even with a new star alongside him. Now it’s just matter of getting Pringle more comfortable with Ginebra. The Gin Kings have a new super weapon and they’ll utilize him for sure. “We have to find different ways to get him in iso’s cause he’s such a great one-on-one player, and we have to find ways to get him in the post,” Cone said of Pringle. “So there’s still a lot to [do]. Right now, he’s just trying to figure out where he’s supposed to be in the triangle, which is difficult when you only had a couple days of practice. But he’s a special player and he picked it up very well,” Cone added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 26th, 2019

Kings are Kings sans Brownlee

Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone is glad to see the Gin Kings’ locals come out of the big shadow of their super-import Justin Brownlee......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 14th, 2020

Black believes Ginebra’s Brownlee can break his record

          By JONAS TERRADO   Meralco coach Norman Black believes that Justin Brownlee and Allen Durham are capable of joining him as the only imports to reach the PBA’s 10,000-point club. Black expressed gratitude after being informed of the 32nd anniversary of the feat he did as a playing of San […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsOct 24th, 2020

Temp to Champ: Justin Brownlee s Magical PBA journey with Ginebra

(This story was originally published on January 31, 2020) With Barangay Ginebra's recent title win in the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup, Justin Brownlee is now a four-time champion. In just under four years, Brownlee has completely captivated Ginebra and its legion of fans. Brownlee's influence extends beyond the barangay, one can only hear the continuous calls for him to become Gilas Pilipinas' naturalized player as proof of his influence. He is well-loved not just because of his on-court ability but more so because he is genuinely a good human being. But for all of Brownlee's brilliance in the PBA, everything almost never actually happened. He wasn't even supposed to stay here, let alone come.   THE TNT CONNECTION In 2011, Paul Harris came to the PBA and won the Commissioner's Cup title with the Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters. They beat Barangay Ginebra in the Finals after six games. Also in 2011, Harris was playing in the NBA D-League for the Maine Red Claws and one of his teammates was Justin Brownlee. The link has been established long before the Gin Kings cashed in. "To be honest, very ironically, the only person who ever told me about the Philippines was Paul," Brownlee told ABS-CBN Sports. "After he played with Talk 'N Text, we played together in the NBA D-League and I knew Paul before but I really met him when we played in the D-League. He had a lot to say about the Philippines and the way they loved basketball and the way he just won a championship," he added. After his 2011 championship, Harris would come back for a couple more stints with the Tropang Texters. But in 2016 for the Governors’ Cup, Harris would switch teams. Five years after taking them down for the Commissioner’s Cup title, the former Syracuse forward was now suiting up for Barangay Ginebra. Unfortunately, Harris’ Ginebra tenure lasted only one game after he injured his thumb at the Mall of Asia Arena. The Gin Kings were now scrambling and Ginebra had to make a call for a replacement. It was Justin Brownlee that answered. The rest is history. "He told me if you ever have a chance to play in the Philippines, you should really take it," Brownlee said of Harris' advice. "It was my first opportunity for Ginebra so I took it. It's just crazy, because it was for him being injured [that I got a call],' Brownlee added.   3 AND D As a 22-time PBA champion, coach Tim Cone has an eye on players that can do well in the Philippines. Coach Tim knew that Justin Brownlee would have success in the PBA the moment he laid his eyes on him. "I remember scouting him in the NBA Summer League and thought, 'Wow, that guy would really do well in the Philippines,'" Cone said of Brownlee. "But he was a little bit more one-dimensional back then. He was more of a just a 3-and-D guy, he was a stretch four, shot a lot of three-points. He proved he could play bigger guys and play against bigger guys even though he was only 6'5". Those kind of guys usually do well here," the champion mentor added. From the time Brownlee first entered the PBA as Paul Harris' replacement as Ginebra import in the 2016 PBA Governors' Cup to now, Cone was proven right. Brownlee turned out to be quite successful in the PBA. With more championships than playoff series lost, he shows no signs of slowing down. About four years in, teams still can't check Brownlee and there's a reason for that according to Cone. "The thing about Justin that impressed me is that while he's been here, his game has improved so tremendously," Coach Tim said. “I was talking to my son who lives in San Francisco. And we were talking about, you know how great Justin is and how hard it is to defend them and how happy I am that he's on my team. I would hate to have to try to guard him on the other side.” "Reminds me a lot actually a Bobby Parks, you know, when I was trying to figure out ways to guard Bobby Parks. Just could not find ways. He always would find a way to beat you and that's exactly what Justin does," Cone added, pretty much giving Brownlee one of the ultimate seals of approval for a PBA import.   WRONG LEAGUE Justin Brownlee could have been a star anywhere else in the world. He was already in the NBA D-League, he could have gotten an actual shot in the NBA if he stayed long enough for what it's worth. But he found himself in the PBA with Barangay Ginebra. The Gin Kings certainly hit the jackpot with him and they're not letting Brownlee go. "The one thing my son said, he said, 'Sorry, dad. But you know, Justin's in the wrong League. He shouldn't be in the PBA. He should be in the NBA, playing as a star somewhere, if he had  been given a chance,'" Coach Tim recalled about a conversation he had with his own son about Brownlee. "He's an NBA-caliber guy. I don't think there's any doubt. He'll be back next year and I think he'll be better even next year than he was this year," Cone added. Brownlee could have been a star anywhere else but the Philippines has become a second home for Brownlee. He will remain a Gin King as long as the barangay wants him to stay. “It’s just the mentality, to be honest. It starts with the ‘Never Say Die’ mentality. Just seeing how the people can come together and motivate other people to do something positive. All the way from the boss, to Coach Tim, to each player, it’s all about coming together,” Brownlee said on what allures him to Barangay Ginebra. “Thet [first] championship was great of course, but for me to come back, it was more so the culture. How the people treated basketball here and the relationship I started building with my teammates, and Coach Tim and the whole management. Over the championship, those are the things I love most, the real reason why I came back. Even if we never won, if I was asked to come back, I would come back in a hurry,” Justin added.   TEMP TO CHAMP Justin Brownlee most definitely made a name for himself in the Philippines with four Finals appearances, four PBA championships, one Best Import award, most three-pointers ever made by an import, and “The Shot.” For a replacement import, that's not too bad. Brownlee's legacy here is set, when he comes back for more, he’s just going to continue to make his case as the PBA’s GOAT import. But for all of Brownlee's brilliance in the PBA, everything almost never actually happened. He wasn't even supposed to stay here, let alone come. “My contract was only for one month,” Brownlee told ABS-CBN Sports on his first stint with Ginebra all the way back from the 2016 Governors’ Cup. “I didn’t know the full details of Paul’s injury at the time. I just remember they [Ginebra] wanted me another month, and it just turned into the rest of the conference. “ “It wasn’t even to stay for the whole conference [first contract]. It was very unfortunate that Paul got hurt but the opportunity presented itself to me and I tried to just take advantage of it the most I can,” Brownlee added. He took advantage indeed.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 23rd, 2020

PBA Best Imports: Allen Durham, Hulking Thoroughbred

Local players are not the only ones that have become stars over the years in the Philippine Basketball Association. Foreign players reinforcing teams, or those they call imports, can be just as beloved. An import playing in the PBA is expected to deliver big numbers; however, production is not the only criteria that makes one successful in basketball on this side of the world. Winning, charisma, and actual love for the PBA and its fans also heavily go into it. The Best Imports will be recognized in name, but the truly great ones that have made their mark here are more than just one-hit wonders. In this series, we take a look at some of the reinforcements who have truly made a home in the PBA. Let’s continue with the electrifying Best Import, Allen Durham.   Thoroughbred Allen Durham’s PBA career actually started in 2014 with Barako Bull, but he found his true home with the Meralco Bolts. Upon returning to the league for the 2016 Governors’ Cup, Meralco head coach Norman Black described the hulking Durham as a thoroughbred. He was right. Norman Black is not just one of the best coaches in the PBA, he’s also one of the best imports in league history. He knows a great import when he sees one so of course he was right about AD. In Durham’s first full conference in the PBA, he led the Bolts to their first-ever Finals appearance. Meralco took down an upstart Mahindra team and the 10-1 TNT KaTropa on its way to the championship round. If not for a certain shot by another Best Import to be featured in this series, the Bolts would most likely have a championship already. In Durham’s first full conference in the PBA, he averaged a strong 29.4 points, 15.2 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.1 blocks when he won his first Best Import trophy.   Best Import x3 It’s quite unfortunate for an import like Durham to not have a championship after multiple stints in the PBA. He just keeps running into Justin Brownlee’s Barangay Ginebra. In four seasons with Meralco, Durham had the Bolts to three Governors’ Cup Finals, each time losing to Brownlee and the Gin Kings. The only time Meralco didn’t reach the Finals with Durham, the Bolts survived six straight knockout games to set up a semifinals series against Best Import Mike Harris and the Alaska Aces.  Save for the Finals defeats at the hands of Ginebra, Meralco’s winning culture is mostly thanks to Durham. The Bolts repeatedly falter in the All-Filipino, but they’re a top-4 team whenever Durham suits up. AD also consistently puts up monster numbers, that and the impact to Meralco’s wins make him an obvious choice for Best Import each and every season. Durham has won the award three times in the Governors’ Cup for the years 2016, 2017, and 2019. Durham is second in the all-time list and only Bobby Parks Sr. has more Best Import wins than him at seven. After his first Best Import win in the Governors’ Cup in 2016, Durham came back stronger in 2017, leading Meralco to the no. 1 seed and to Game 7 of the Finals in front of a record crowd at the Philippine Arena. In between, AD averaged an incredible 25.4 points, 20.06 rebounds, 6.8 assists, and 1.3 blocks to win a second Best Import plum. Durham is also the most recent winner of the Best Import award in the PBA, averaging 29.8 points, 15.4 rebounds, and 6.7 assists in the 2019 Governors’ Cup. Just like in previous years, AD beat Brownlee for Best Import but it was the Gin Kings that took the title. Durham is still pretty dead set on winning a PBA title, whether he returns to Meralco or any other team in the future remains to be seen. Regardless, Allen Durham is a true PBA Best Import, his name already sealed in history. Best Import, Allen Durham: - Five PBA conferences for Barako Bull and Meralco - 3-time Best Import - Second all-time for most Best Import wins behind Bobby Parks Sr.     — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 4th, 2020

Tim Cone on winning a PBA Grand Slam: 'Everything has to work'

One of the greatest dynasties in PBA history was Alaska in the 1990s. In four seasons from 1995 to 1998, the Milkmen won seven championships in 12 conferences. Of course, the crown jewel came in the middle in 1996 with Alaska's Grand Slam win. As everyone knows, it’s not easy to win a Grand Slam in the PBA. The 1996 Alaska team was the fourth team to accomplish the rare feat. In the 45-year history of the league, only five teams have been able to complete as a season sweep. In a special reunion in the the 2OT podcast of PBA broadcasters Magoo Marjon and Carlo Pamintuan, several key members of the 1996 Alaska Grand Slam team reminisced about their heydays. Easily the most insightful is just how much it takes for a team to complete a triple crown. Coach Tim Cone went through what his Alaska team did to win the Grand Slam in 1996, and as a two-time Grand Slam winner, Cone is the one with the most authority to discuss the topic. “A lot of teams get there, but very few finish the job,” Cone said. “There’s a lot of teams that have won the first two conferences, and then for some reason, the chemistry is just hard to sustain all the way through the whole year. You saw what happened to San Miguel last year, they had a lot of pressure and kinda implode in that third conference,” he added. After the 1996 Alaska team, the 2014 San Mig Coffee also coached by Cone ended up as the last team so far to win a Grand Slam. The 2011 Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters came one win away from a Grand Slam but their Finals series against Petron showed a lot of cracks for what was supposedly a very composed squad. They lost Game 7 to Blaze Boosters pretty bad. San Miguel had a shot at the Grand Slam in 2017 and 2019, but the Beermen lost to Cone’s Barangay Ginebra in the quarterfinals of the Governors’ Cup each time. In 2019, San Miguel imploded in the third conference, with three local players suspended for a fight in practice with injured import Dez Wells. Having a strong team is not enough to win a Grand Slam, everything has to fall into place pretty much. “People kinda throw out the Grand Slam easily, but everything has to work,” Cone said. “The third conference is the hardest, because there’s just so much more added pressure. But what made this group special [1996 Alaska] was that pressure didn’t affect them because the chemistry was so tight and we were so comfortable with Sean [Chambers],” coach Tim added. The 1996 Alaska team was meticulously built for years ever since the Milkmen won their first-ever PBA title in 1991. For the Grand Slam season, Alaska broke through with a Philippine Cup title win against Purefoods before Sean Chambers returned and the team outlasted an underdog Shell team to win the Commissioner’s Cup in seven games. With Chambers back for the Governors’ Cup, Alaska struggled to start but ended up tearing the whole league up, rolling to a 4-1 Finals win over Ginebra to complete the triple crown. “Sean was like a baby’s blanket for us. When he came in, we all hugged that blanket and took it wherever we could,” Cone said. “We didn’t have a normal pressure that other teams went through with an import that doesn’t really understand what’s going on and how important this is to everybody. Sean knew, and he already won the second conference for us. It was a perfect storm,” Coach Tim added. The Alaska episode of 2OT can be watched in full here, with a lot of stories of how Coach Tim avoided being fired in the early 1990s as they built the eventual Grand Slam team, acquiring key pieces like Jeffrey Cariaso and Bong Hawkins.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 4th, 2020

LIST EM: All of the PBA Fiesta Conference Champions

Through 45 seasons, the PBA has always been a three-conference league. The only time that wasn't the case was during the 2000s, when most of the decade was played with only two conferences. The Philippine Cup was naturally retained, and the import-laden tournament was christened as the Fiest Conference. A total of seven Fiesta Conferences were played, the first one was a transitional tournament in 2004 and the rest were played through the six seasons that followed. With the PBA shortening its 45th season due to the COVID-19 outbreak and a two-conference format all the more likely for 2020, now seems like the perfect time to go back and remember all the Fiesta Conference champions.   2004 Fiesta Conference - Barangay Ginebra def. Red Bull, 3-1 The first Fiesta Conference was a transitional tournament in 2004, marking the league's official transition to a two-conference format under PBA Commissioner Noli Eala. Ginebra was just the no. 7 seed in the regular season but got the number 2 spot in its group in a crossover quarterfinals that included foreign guest teams.  The Gin Kings then took out Talk 'N Text in the semis and Red Bull in the Finals to take the title. Eric Menk was Finals MVP. 2005 Fiesta Conference - San Miguel Beer def. Talk 'N Text, 4-1 In the Finals featuring the top-2 seeds, no. 2 San Miguel Beer got off to a 2-0 start and handily issued a gentleman's sweep of the Phone Pals. The Beermen only lost two playoff games to win their 17th league title. Danny Ildefonso was the Finals MVP. 2006 Fiesta Conference - Red Bull def. Purefoods, 4-2 Red Bull lost the second-seed playoff to Barangay Ginebra but the Barako got back at the Gin Kings by winning their semifinal series in seven games. Red Bull then beat Purefoods in the Finals for the franchise's third and last PBA championship. Enrico Villanueva was the BPC and Finals MVP. 2007 Fiesta Conference - Alaska def. Talk 'N Text, 4-3 [Related: Forgotten Finals: Alaska's storybook championship] 2008 Fiesta Conference - Barangay Ginebra def. Air21, 4-3 The Gin Kings swept all the individual awards, with Jay-jay Helterbrand being named BPC, Chris Alexander as Best Import, and Ronald Tubid as Finals MVP. However, a banged-up Ginebra team needed seven games to hold off the top-ranked Air21 Express. This would mark as the Gin King's last title until Justin Brownlee became the team's import eight years later. 2009 Fiesta Conference - San Miguel def. Barangay Ginebra, 4-3 [Related: Forgotten Finals: That one time Ping won a title with San Miguel Beer] 2010 Fiesta Conference - Alaska def. San Miguel, 4-2 With Diamon Simpson as import, Alaska stopped the Talk 'N Text juggernaut to enter the Finals. Trailing 2-3 to a Phone Pals team that won 13 straight games in the elimination round, the Aces rallied to take the series in seven. In the Finals, Alaska took a 3-1 lead before taking down defending champion San Miguel Beer in six. LA Tenorio and Cyrus Baguio were co-Finals MVPs and this marks as coach Tim Cone's final title with the Aces.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 8th, 2020

PBA Finals: We were very methodical tonight -- Cone on breaking down Meralco

Barangay Ginebra head coach Tim Cone couldn’t help but smile with how the Gin Kings executed their game plan to a tee. Slowly building momentum from a low-scoring and sluggish first quarter, Ginebra worked its way to building enough cushion in the next two periods before cruising to a 94-72 win over Meralco in Game 4 of the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals for a 3-1 series lead on Wednesday at the Big Dome. “I thought we did a good, methodical job,” said Cone, who is a win away from steering the Gin Kings to its third season-ending title in four years.   From a 14-14 first quarter stalemate, the Gin Kings found their range in the second canto with Justin Brownlee dropping 15 of his 27 points as Ginebra shot 11-of-19 from the field while the Bolts struggled with their shooting with a 8-of-22 clip and missing all of their nine three-point attempts in the period. The Gin Kings sustained their momentum in the second half to break the game wide open, 90-63, off a Mark Caguioa jumper with 3:33 remaining in the ball game. “We were very methodical tonight in breaking them down on the offensive side,” said Cone. Ginebra pounced on Meralco’s sour shooting especially from beyond the arc – a hellish 3-of-26 clip - and was patient in executing its offense.   “They were 1-14 from the 3-point line in the first half so they had no rhythm,” Cone pointed out. “We were very methodical out there. We weren't rushing. We built the lead slowly then kept it when we got it.” Cone also lauded his team for its defense on Best Import winner Allen Durham, who finished with 21 points on 9-of-23 shooting. “We did a great job against Durham. We held him to eight (sic) points at halftime, that's amazing,” said Cone of Durham, who was held down to nine points in the first two periods. “If you're gonna do that to a player like that, you better win the basketball game. Team-wise, I thought we played him well tonight.” The Gin Kings can close the series on Friday at the MOA Arena.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 15th, 2020

PBA Finals: We got our game going tonight -- Cone

Barangay Ginebra came out of the locker room after the halftime break on a tear as the Gin Kings caught Meralco flat-footed to take a 2-1 series lead in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals on Sunday at the Big Dome. The Gin Kings pounced on the Bolts, who lost big man Raymond Almazan to a knee injury early in the opening period, with a third quarter eruption to carve out a 92-84 victory to get back on the winning track. “For the most part, we were able to get our game going tonight,” said Gin Kings coach Tim Cone, relieved that his squad was quick to bounce back from a sorry loss in Game 2 in Lucena City in Quezon last Friday. Taking advantage of Meralco missing a vital cog in the paint, the Gin Kings blasted 35 points in the third quarter while limiting the Bolts to only 16 for a 78-58 cushion heading into the payoff period. The Gin Kings held a 43-42 lead after the first two quarters. Ginebra was lights out on offense in that period as it hit 14 of its 23 attempts in the field including four triples. The Gin Kings forced Meralco to commit eight turnovers that they converted to 14 points while taking care of their possession as Ginebra cruised in the third without an error. “That's the way we play. We got some stops and got on the open court,” Cone said.  Stanley Pringle anchored the Gin Kings explosion in the third with 17 points off 7-of-9 shooting clip from the field including three treys. He closed his night with 21 points behind Justin Brownlee’s 24 and Japeth Aguilar’s 23 markers. “Stanley had a bunch of spectacular plays that really revved up the crowd,” Cone said. “And I thought just defensively, we did a much better job tonight in terms of controlling some of the guys we wanted to control.”  Ginebra’s third quarter spurt was enough insurance to stave off Meralco’s desparate push late in the fourth canto as LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar put the finishing touches to preserve the victory.         --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 12th, 2020

PBA Finals: Cone ready, expects Game 7

Based on the previous two championship meetings between Barangay Ginebra and Meralco, this coming 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals is expected to come down to a series decider. It’s no wonder Gin Kings head coach Tim Cone is already preparing for a possible Game 7 as the best-of-seven series begins on Tuesday. “We could go to a Game 10 if necessary, if it was a possibility. For me, I never really wanna predict how far we'll go,” said Cone on Saturday in the Finals press conference. “We plan on playing a Game 7.” The two teams battled for the season-ending conference’s throne for two straight years in 2016 and 2017 with the Gin Kings winning both duels. But Ginebra was pushed to the limit both times with the Gin Kings needing Justin Brownlee’s title-clinching buzzer-beater trey to close their first Finals meeting in six games while their rematch the following year went to Game 7. This clash could be no different with both squads – coming off long breaks - claiming that it will be a long series. “We feel like we're in good shape. We tried to pace our players throughout the entire conference to make sure they would stay fresh,” said Bolts coach Norman Black, who is looking to steer Meralco to its first title. “We just played TNT in a Game 5 so we went the limit as far as the semifinals is concerned. We'll be ready just in case it does go to a Game 7.” Just like Black, Cone will try to preserve his wards energy just in case. “We try to watch the players' minutes and such and practice time so we don't wear them out so they have something left in a Game 7,” he said. “But obviously if you can finish it early... we'd like to. They would like to finish it early, we would like to finish it early.” “But I think our feelings are it's gonna go down to a Game 7. That's generally the case when you have two really good teams,” added Cone. “We'll throw grenades at each other back and forth for a few games and try to come down to the wire and see who wins it all.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 4th, 2020

PBA: Ginebra goes all-out to get even with NorthPort

Ginebra returned the favor in the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup semifinals and routed NorthPort, 113-88, Monday at Araneta Coliseum. Without a doubt having put their Game 1 loss behind them, the Gin Kings were firing on all cylinders from the get-go en route to evening the best-of-five series at 1-all. The crowd favorites opened their onslaught with a 31-point first quarter before dropping another 31 and 32 in the second and third periods, respectively. The Batang Pier just could not keep up and fell victim all game long to Ginebra's overwhelming firepower. Stanley Pringle was at the head of the attack with 23 points on top of five assists, three rebounds, and three steals while LA Tenorio had his own 20 markers and four dimes. A total of six Gin Kings were in double-digits with Greg Slaughter also contributing 16 points and nine rebounds and Justin Brownlee chipping in a 15-marker, 10-board double-double. This 35-point demolition job is, in head coach Tim Cone's eyes, a rightful response to the 34-point beatdown they suffered at the hands of the upstarts two days ago. As he put it, "I thought we came out and played with a lot of playoff intensity. We just didn't have that in Game 1." The pivotal Game 3 will still tip-off at The Big Dome on Wednesday. For NorthPort, American reinforcement Michael Qualls still had 20 points, but was clamped down all throughout and only shot 8-of-26 from the field. BOX SCORES GINEBRA 113 - Pringle 23, Tenorio 20, Slaughter 16, Brownlee 15, Thompson 13, Chan 12, Aguilar 6, Mariano 5, Dillinger 3, Sargent 0, Caperal 0, Teodoro 0, Dela Cruz 0. NORTHPORT 88 - Qualls 20, Anthony 19, Standhardinger 10, Escoto 9, Cruz 8, Elorde 7, Taha 5, Lanete 5, King 3, Mercado 2, Ferrer 0. QUARTER SCORES: 31-18, 62-44, 94-70, 113-88. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 16th, 2019

PBA: Blakely could have been a Gin King says coach Tim

The latest jersey swap in Marqus Blakely’s #GrandSlamBuddies collection is with Joe Devance as Blackwater and Ginebra squared off Wednesday in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup. Another prominent person from the 2014 San Mig Grand Slam team was also present Wednesday though he didn’t have a jersey to swap. Well he couldn’t because the other prominent person is Tim Cone. And Coach Tim does not wear jerseys, he wears a nice shirt and an even nicer tie. “I was about to take off my shirt and tie and give it to him, but then I was afraid everybody would faint in the stands when they see my body, everybody would be throwing up,” Coach Tim said when asked if Blakely asked a souvernir from him “I said nah, do it with Joe. I thought about it, but I didn't wanna scare all the females out there with my bare-chested look. I could've given him my tie, I guess, but he didn't ask for it,” he added. Five years after winning the Grand Slam together for another team, Coach Tim still marvels at his old import’s reliability. If not for Ginebra landing the jackpot with Justin Brownlee, there’s a big possibility that Blakely would have been a Gin King now instead of an Elite. “I would have brought him back for Ginebra, honestly, except we picked up Justin. Once we got Justin, we weren't gonna change him for — I'm sorry Marcus — but for no one,” Cone said. “If we hadn't gotten Justin — because the year [2016] we got Justin, Marqus was still playing with Purefoods. And then he got changed. And then he became free, we could've picked him up but by that time, we already had Justin. Funny how fate happened. We could have easily had Marqus as our import,” Coach Tim added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 30th, 2019

PBA: Terrence Jones new tropa wants to send him back to the NBA

Over the last couple of seasons, the PBA has seen its share of super imports. Ginebra’s Justin Brownlee immediately comes to mind. Meralco’s Allen Durham and Phoenix’s Eugene Phelps fit in that mold too. Alaska’s Mike Harris is in that list as well. The uber-talented Glen Rice Jr. could have made it if he just got it together. But for the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, TNT brought not just any other import. Tired of underperforming for the past few conferences, the KaTropa went ahead and signed former Houston Rockets forward Terrence Jones for the mid-season joust. With Jones, TNT went the super — SUPER — import route and it has been worth every penny for the KaTropa, at least so far.   ROCKET MAN Many former NBA players have played in the PBA before, that’s not a new thing. But what makes Jones special is that he’s at his peak of his powers now as he plays his first stint in the PBA. Jones is a former first-round pick and was a legitimate NBA contributor. In his best NBA season, in 2013-2014 for Houston, Jones started 71 games and had career-high numbers of 12.1 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. This dude is legit. “Oo iba, iba siya talaga,” guard RR Pogoy said of Jones. (Yes, he’s really different). In just one conference, Pogoy and Jones have clicked as teammates. Terrence has admitted that RR is one of his favorite local targets when he’s trying to spot an open teammate when opposing teams double on him. Pogoy admits that Jones is one of the best, if not the best, import he’s ever played with. “Pwedeng-pwede pa siya talaga sa NBA eh. Iba yung skills niya,” he added. (He could still play in the NBA. His skills are just different).   THE DIFFERENCE TNT has ran pretty much the same system for years. Whether you like this team or now, they know what style they want to play andd they identify players that fit that system well. The KaTropa have dominated the PBA without a traditional big man. Ask other teams, they’ve been blindsided and bamboozled by a TNT offense led by diminutive point guards like Jimmy Alapag and Jayson Castro. However, the KaTropa have hit another rough patch. The team hasn’t made it to the PBA semifinals since 2017. Their 2018 campaign was a lot like the horror 2016 year with the only difference being three seasons ago, they actually made it to the semifinals of the Governors’ Cup as a no. 1 seed. Last year, they won zero playoff games and missed the playoffs altogether once so in essence, 2018 was a worse nightmare for the KaTropa. It didn’t help that in the previous All-Filipino, they were practically a missed 24-second violation away from ending the San Miguel Beer Philippine Cup dynasty. The winning formula no longer works for TNT. Or at the very least, it’s not as effective. Enter Terrence Jones. “Malaking tulong talaga siya sa team namin. Kung ano yung kulang samin, parang fit na fit talaga siya eh. Napa-dali na lang yung mga buhay namin sa basketball,” Pogoy said of Jones. (He’s a big help to our team. What we lack, he fits right in. Our basketball lives are easier with him). “Yung rebounding tsaka yung pagka-shot blocker niya [malaking tulong]. Naiilang din yun kalaban namin eh, sa rebound naman naco-control namin kasi may malaki na kami, yun naman talaga kulang namin,” Pogoy added. (His rebounding and his presence as a shot blocker is a huge help). In 10 games so far, Jones is averaging 14.9 rebounds per game. That may not seem much for an import but he’s never had fewer than 10 in a game and has hit a high 22 rebounds. His shot blocking has helped TNT shore up its overall defense as well with Jones averaging 2.9 rejections a game with his three best performances coming against Columbian (7 blocks), Ginebra (6 blocks), and San Miguel (5 blocks). The last two teams feature perhaps the two best frontlines in the league today by a wide margin. Aside from his defensive presences, Jones is a force on offense as well, averaging 34.5 points on close to 50 percent shooting. He’s hit over 30 points eight times and over 40 points four times. Scoring will be a given for a player of his caliber but what sets him apart is his ability to locate open teammates and willingly pass the ball to them. Jones is good for at least four assists in every game and he’s topped out at 16 dimes so far. In 10 games, he’s rounding up to 7.7 assists per outing which leads all imports, and the whole league actually. “Talagang willing passer siya, hinahanap din niya talaga yung mga kasama niya. Kumbaga di niya inaako lahat yung scoring load,” forward Troy Rosario said of his new frontcourt tandem in Jones. (He’s a willing passer. He really tries to find his teammates and he’s not trying to shoulder all the scoring load). “Kami ready pa rin kami lagi. Syempre yung experience niya sa NBA talagang pinapakita niya dito, natutulungan din niya kami kung saan kami dapat lumugar sa plays kasi advanced na siya eh, kahit di na sabihin ni coach alam na niya dapat gawin,” he added. (We’re just ready as locals. He’s really showing his NBA experience here, he’s helping us to where we need to be on plays because he’s so advanced he knows what to do even before coach tells us).   THE LEADER Aside from putting up big numbers across the board, there’s one underrated factor about Terrence Jones that has led to him making a positive impact on TNT. Jones made an effort to be a leader for the KaTropa and his teammates have rallied behind him for sure. The result is in the way they play and the way they win in the Commissioner’s Cup. “I think it’s come to them [TNT locals] listening and understanding that I have a little experience on what it takes to try to win and be a good teammate,” Jones said of his leadership role with the KaTropa and how it worked out. “They listened and understood that and we’ve been having fun ever since,” he added. TNT is full of alpha-level players but Jones’ NBA resume has certainly helped in making them line up behin their import and provide support. The the KaTropa have been running like a well-oiled machince with that set up. “Leadership pa lang niya ang laking tulong na samin. As locals, ginagawa lang namin kung ano dapat namin gawin para maka-contribute din and para matulungan din siya,” Rosario said. (His leadership alone is a big help for us. As locals, we just try to do what we need to do to contribute and to help him out). “Magaling siya, isa talaga siya mga leader namin ngayon. Talagang nili-lift up niya kami, di lang sa salita pati sa gawa,” Pogoy added. (He’s great, he’s one of our leaders now. He really lifts us up not just with words but with action as well)   THE LONG ROAD BACK TO THE ASSOCIATION It would be incredible if TNT ends up having Terrence Jones as a resident import the same way Ginebra has Justin Brownlee or Phoenix has Eugene Phelps or Meralco having Allen Durham. However, the KaTropa know that their super import still has a good shot of returning to the NBA and they plan on helping him get back there. “Syempre goal namin makapasok sa playoffs, nagawa na namin yun. Ang susunod na step is next round sa playoffs. Malaking tulong din yun sa kanya kasi yung pangalan niya bumabango ulit,” Rosario said. (Our goal is to make the playoffs and we did that. Now the next step is to get to the next round of the playoffs. That’s a big help for him to get his name out there again). “Preparation na rin kasi alam namin na after dito, meron siyang invites sa mga training camps,” he added. (It’s also good preparation because we know after this, he has some invites to camps). With TNT at 9-1 and a top-2 seed in the playoffs, the team is certainly favored to win in the Commissioner’s Cup. And perhaps one of Jones’ best ways to once again get some traction is to put up great numbers for a championship team in a big league like the PBA. There’s a big check mark on the numbers part and while he can’t win a title by his lonesome, Jones has an entire tropa that has his back. “Lalo na kung mag-champion kami, mabango yung pangalan niya di ba?” Pogoy said. (If we win the championship, that’s good for his name, right?). “Marami naman nags-scout diyan, nakikita siya and maganda pinapakita niya. Feel ko [kaya bumalik sa NBA],” he added. (There’s people that scout him, seeing him and how good he’s been performing. I feel [he can make it back to the NBA]). Of course, winning a PBA championship does not directly award Jones and NBA roster spot. However, he appreciates that his team backs him up in that regard. Right now TNT’s super import is just concerned about playing well with his team and winning more games. “I appreciate it, I wish nothing but the best for all my teammates as well,” Jones said. “I hope you guys see that while we’re playing, we’re smiling and enjoying one another when anybody scores. It’s just like a family atmosphere,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 16th, 2019

PBA: Brownlee will take his Jordan comparison and go

Justin Brownlee was so in the zone Sunday for Manila Clasico that head coach Tim Cone went ahead and compared his super import to Michael Jordan himself. Yep, Coach Tim went the GOAT route. Sure enough, Browlee supplied a Jordanesque performance in leading Ginebra to victory, firing a career-high 49 points on 75 percent shooting from the field The league’s reigning Best Import also added 20 rebounds and seven assists just to make sure. “Oh man, that’s a great compliment and comparison,” Brownlee said of Cone’s MJ comment. “I definitely appreciate it but man, that’s a bad man [MJ] to be compared to. I just really appreciate it and take the compliment,” he added. Brownlee certainly wasn’t trying to be like Mike against Magnolia Sunday, he was just trying to be aggressive enough to help his Gin Kings get a crucial win. In doing so he did play much like Jordan for his team and there’s really nothing wrong with that. “I know it's a big game for us, its a great opportunity for us to clinch a spot in the playoffs and just try to defend our crown,” Brownlee said. “So we just wanted to come out and be aggressive and just whatever it takes to win this game,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 8th, 2019

PBA: Jordanesque Brownlee continues to wow for Ginebra

You think after three years we’ve seen everything from Justin Brownlee? Well think again. Ginebra’s super import had his best scoring game in the PBA Sunday, dropping 49 big ones on Magnolia as the defending champion Gin Kings won the first Manila Clasico of the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup. Head coach Tim Cone said it was a Jordanesque performance. “What can you say about Justin? I mean, if that’s not an MJ performance tonight, I’ve never seen an MJ performance,” Cone said. Brownlee scored 16 points in the second quarter, 11 in the third, and 14 in the fourth period. Brownlee also had 20 rebounds and seven assists. For good measure, the reigning Best Import shot 75 percent from the field. “All the MJ performances that I’ve seen through the years, and I’ll tell you, I watched every Bulls games in tape and at the time, that’s one of MJ’s greatest game right there except with Justin’s body doing the thing,” Cone said. “It’s really amazing play by him,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 7th, 2019

Like Mike: Cone compares Brownlee to Jordan in Clasico explosion

MANILA, Philippines – Justin Brownlee was not short of spectacular as Barangay Ginebra crushed Magnolia in another edition of the Manila Clasico, and for coach Tim Cone, his import played like the man considered as the greatest of all time.  Cone compared Brownlee to NBA legend Michael Jordan after firing ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 7th, 2019

PBA: Brownlee to the rescue as Ginebra escapes Northport

Justin Brownlee to the rescue as always. The league’s reigning Best Import drilled a clutch corner triple in the final 90 seconds and defending champion Brgy. Ginebra escaped Northport Saturday in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the MOA Arena, 73-70. Tied at 70, the Gin Kings found Brownlee sitting in the corner and Ginebra’s resident super import calmly drilled the go-ahead triple with 1:29 left. Ginebra then managed to hold on in the final 36 seconds as the Batang Pier missed three attempts from deep that would have sent the game in overtime. “I coached poorly I thought it was a loss,” head coach Tim Cone said. “The zone really bothered us, gave us a hard time finding high-percentage shots. Our defense kept us in the game, we basically survived with our offense,” he added as his Gin Kings climb to 2-1 in the standings. It was a close game throughout with no team having any significant leads. It came down to who made the more timely shots and the Gin Kings did courtesy of Brownlee. Ginebra’s super import finished with 32 points, eight rebounds, and six rebounds. He also had five steals for a true all-around effort. After Brownlee, Greg Slaughter was Ginebra’s top local with 16 points. Northport missed out on solo first with the loss, dropping to 3-1. Mo Tautuaa was the high man for the Batang Pier with 15 points while Sean Anthony was good for 14 markers. The scores: Ginebra 73 - Brownlee 32, Slaughter 16, Thompson 11, Mercado 6, Aguilar 3, Ferrer 3, Mariano 2, Devance 0, Tenorio 0, Teodoro 0. NorthPort 70 - Tautuaa 15, Anthony 14, Grey 9, Lanete 8, Ibeh 8, Pringle 7, Bolick 5, Elorde 4, Flores 0, Gabayni 0. Quarterscores: 13-14, 38-31, 55-54, 73-70.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 1st, 2019

PBA: Gin Kings get first win in title defense

Defending champion Brgy. Ginebra is on the board. The Gin Kings shut down rival Meralco Sunday in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, scoring a nice 110-95 victory at the Big Dome. Losing to Blackwater in overtime to start its title defense, Ginebra has bounced back for an even 1-1 record in the mid-season joust. “We played as badly as we could in the first half, we looked as we didn’t have any fight,” head coach Tim Cone said. “They talked about it at halftime, and they came out and played with so much fight there in the 2nd half. I couldn't be prouder of this group in terms of turning that game around,” he added. Down 11 at the break, Ginebra quickly turned things around with a balanced scoring effort in the third and outscored the Bolts, 39-17, to take an 11-point lead entering the fourth. The Gin Kings then weathered a final strong rally from Meralco to score their first victory. Reigning Best Import Justin Brownlee was the high mn for the barangay with 27 points. Japeth Aguilar led four locals in double figures with 19 while Art Dela Cruz and Sol Mercado scored 16 and 14 points respectively. The Bolts got a huge 38-point effort from import Gani Lawal but local supported lacked as only Baser Amer reached double digits with 10 points. Meralco dropped to 1-2 with the loss.   The Scores: Ginebra 110 - Brownlee 27, Aguilar 19, Dela Cruz 16, Mercado 14, Thompson 11, Slaughter 8, Mariano 8, Tenorio 4, Ferrer 3, Cruz 0, Caperal 0. Meralco 95 - Lawal 38, Amer 10, Newsome 8, Hodge 7, Salva 6, Pinto 6, Canaleta 6, De Ocampo 5, Hugnatan 4, Jackson 3, Tolomia 2, Quinto 0, Caram 0. Quarters: 16-28, 43-54, 82-71, 110-95. — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 26th, 2019

Ginebra struggling with life without Justin Brownlee

Safe to say, Brgy. Ginebra is missing a familiar figure in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup. A familiar figure that wears jersey no. 32 and goes by the name Justin Brownlee. Struggling to put together a winning streak in the All-Filipino after winning their first championship in eight years during the Governors' Cup, the Gin Kings are longing for their prolific import as they consistently stay inconsistent in the new PBA season. 'Maraming adjustments kasi unang-una, dati si Justin [Brownlee] nandun para sa amin,' Scottie Thompson said after Ginebra lost to San Miguel, dropping its record to 3-4. 'Ngayon wala na si Justin so kailangan namin mag-take over. Siguro yun yung medyo magulo sa team ngayon, yung role namin sa isa't-isa,' he added addressing the locals. Still below .500 with only four games left in the regular season, confidence hasn't left the Ginebra side entirely. Especially with the way they played the champs Sunday night, holding them down to only 72 points and marking three-time Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo to single digits. 'Actually, si coach Tim [Cone], sabi niya sa amin kung ganito lang lagi lalaruin namin, siguro darating din ang mga panalo. Okay naman siya, siguro kailangan lang namin yung finish sa bandang huli,' Thompson said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2017