Cone: Japeth, bench mapipiga sa game 2

Naghahanap si Tim Cone ng mahuhugot mula sa bench na pupuno sa kakulangang dulot ng injuries mula sa kanyang rotation players.

“We’re down Jared Dillinger, down Arth dela Cruz. None of those are available,” litanya ng Ginebra coach. “Mark (Caguioa) is coming out of a major injury, from calf pull.”

Kinamada ng Gin Kings ang last five points ng Game 1 nitong Martes at binutata ni Japeth Aguilar ang panablang drive ni Allen Durham kaya natakasan ang Meralco 91-87.

Pagdayo ng Game 2 sa Lucena City ngayong Biyernes ng gabi, problemado si Cone sa kanyang rotation.

Maigsi lang din ang gabi ni Jeff Chan noong opener, tumagal lang ng 2 minutes.

“Jeff strained his hamstring after playing one minute in the game.

That’s why he didn’t play anymore,” balita ni Cone. “We’re down a lot of guys. We need guys to step up and Joe (Devance) is one of those guys.”

Galing din sa major surgery sa paa si Devance, nakabalik na pero wala pa sa 100 percent. Napakinabangan ang size niya para ilayo sa kanyang comfort zone si Allen Durham. Nalimitahan ang eksplosibong Bolts import sa 25 points, mababa sa average niyang 30.9.

“He struggled a little offensively, but he’s such a smart, intelligent defender,” ani Cone sa kanyang veteran forward. “That’s what you have to be against Durham because he’s just too good. You just can’t play him one-on-one.”

Pipigain ni Cone ang kanyang bench para makuha ang 2-0 lead sa best-of-seven.

“We’re hoping AJ (Aljon Mariano) will be more of a presence in the lineup. Prince (Caperal) could be valuable in terms of defending Durham,” aniya. “We’re gonna dig deeper into our lineup. Four of our guys, rotation players, are in sick bay.” (Vladi Eduarte)