Cone gets sigh of relief after "great resolve" leads Ginebra to semis equalizer

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By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--Coach Tim Cone admitted to the media right after his Ginebra squad trounced Star on Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum to force a Game 7 in their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series that he was already pondering at a quick elimination after seeing Star, who entered the game holding a 3-2 lead, rise up to the occasion early into Game 6.

"I thought it was gonna be a 40-point blowout," Cone said.

The Hotshots raced to an 11-point lead midway through the first quarter, but moments after Cone called his third timeout of the game, a 30-second variety, the Barangay went on a 14-0 run to end the period to go up, 25-22.

"I thought our great resolve started in the first five minutes of the basketball game.... We got back into it and the got the lead at the end of the first quarter. It was amazing," Cone commented on the late first quarter blast.

Although Star would regain control of the game in the second quarter, Ginebra rode behind birthday boy Joe Devance's third quarter barrage to reclaim the lead and finally finished it off in the fourth, outscoring Star, 29-13.

"Joe coming out inspired us," Cone, who also bared that Devance, who is still suffering from plantar fascitis, took two pain killer shots for Sunday night, further said.

However, Cone expressed his concern on whether the seventh-seeded Barangay will finish the giant-slaying of the third-seeded Hotshots on Tuesday night at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay or not.

"Game 6 took us a lot of energy to win. We really had to reach deep to win this. We just gonna figure out if we have enough gas for Game 7," he further told the media.

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