Ginebra head coach Tim Cone is expecting a different Bay Area and Andrew Nicholson in the PBA Finals as compared to their first encounter in the eliminations.
The multi-titled mentor said the Kings are not anymore looking back at that game where they defeated the Dragons, 111-93, as they intend to focus on the task of drawing the first blood in the Game 1 of their best-of-seven 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals series.
The resounding win in the eliminations holds no bearing in the Finals according to Cone, noting Ginebra just caught Bay Area on a good shooting night, led by the 46 points explosion from import Justin Brownlee.
“At this point we throw that game completely out of the window. We don't think about that game and again coming in we just play one game. We've seen them with San Miguel. We've seen them throughout the conference. We think we know how good they can be and honestly, that's scary,” said Cone.
Cone recalled that everything went in Ginebra’s favor back then simply because it was the first game of Dragons import Andrew Nicholson who, during that time, stepped in place of Myles Powell.
And while Nicholson showed some glimpse of what he can do during that game, dropping 26 of his 28 points in the first half, a lot has changed since then as his output during that encounter remains to be his conference low even up to this point.
In the semifinals alone, Nicholson posted 35 points on 60-percent clip from the field including a 55-percent from beyond the arc on top of his 16.5 rebounds.
“There was a lot of things going on that time, I think people can remember they have to change import from Powell to Nicholson and it was his first game and he came out and ripped us for 26 points in the first half but it was his first game so they had to adjust to him and he hadn't been used to playing in full 48 minutes so there's a lot of things that went to that basketball game,” said Cone.
“We know that we caught them on a good night, we played extremely well that night, we knocked down shots that we don't always knock down,” added Cone.
Cone knew that it not all game won’t be a great shooting night for Ginebra that’s why he’s putting on the challenge on his wards to put the clamps not just against Nicholson but also the vaunted Dragons' offense that also has lengthy wings in Hayden Blankley, and Kobey Lam, and heady floor general in Glen Yang and a versatile forward in Zhu Songwei.
“We actually played extremely well and it'd be nice if we do that every night but we know we're not going to be. That’s gonna be a battle in just that first game right there,” said Cone.