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Despite getting top seed, Ginebra coach Cone says 'it's no guarantee'

Japeth Aguilar has been getting into his peak performance recently. PBA Images (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--For Ginebra coach Tim Cone, getting the top seed in the PBA playoffs does not necessarily mean everything.

The winningest coach in PBA history in terms of championships knows that it remains possible for a eighth seeded team to take out the number one squad after the elimination round in the quarterfinals.

"It's a luxury to be number one, but it's no guarantee. You got to make sure you work through it," Cone said looking ahead at the quarterfinal round which begins on Friday night.

Recent history had one 8-beats-1 case, in which eighth seeded NorthPort took down top seeded NLEX in last season's Governors' Cup quarterfinals.

The Batang Pier survived a triple overtime thriller in the rubber match, which the PBA Press Corps named as the Game of the Season, to complete the upset.

The Barangay had an experience being in that situation, although the other way around, in the 1999 Philippine Cup, in which they, the eighth seeds, stunned the top seeded TNT Tropang Giga on a last second leaner by Bal David in the decider.

Ginebra's opponent in the next round, Rain Or Shine, happens to have the tendency to beat them after taking an 85-82 decision on Oct. 27.

That is why Cone wants to make sure that the Barangay can cope with the pressure.

"It's all about just taking care of ourselves, making sure we're getting ourselves ready and we understand the pressure of being the number one seed," he added.

Ginebra will take on ROS in the first day of the quarterfinals on Friday night at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.

The Barangay hold a twice-to-beat advantage against the Elasto Painters and can clinch a semifinal seat in their 6:45 p.m. battle.

The winner of the said pairing will take on the 4-versus-5 battle between San Miguel and Meralco.

The fourth seeded Beermen, also with a twice-to-beat advantage, will face off the fifth seeded Bolts also on Friday at 4 p.m.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno_

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