Ginebra head coach Tim Cone continues to be impressed with the impact of the Justin Brownlee-Stanley Pringle duo on the Kings.
The winningest PBA coach likened Pringle's effect to how NBA players are conspiring to form super teams, like the Miami Heat's Big 3 of LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade in the early part of the decade.
"In the NBA, you see those great players wanting to play with other great players because that opens the game for them," said Cone. "Now with (Los Angeles Lakers') LeBron and [Anthony] Davis or (Los Angeles Clippers') Paul George and Kawhi [Leonard], you have an extra guy out there that occupies the defense and really opens up things for yourself."
Cone gave Pringle and the rest of his players credit for spreading the floor and giving Brownlee, who set a personal PBA record of 49 points, the space he needs to work more efficiently, which was evident in Sunday's Manila Clasico showdown.
"Stanley has brought a whole new dimension to us because he's a threat and they can't sag off him or help off," said Cone. "They have to constantly be aware of him and they have to put their best defender on him so it gives Justin a whole lot more room to maneuver."
Cone compared Brownlee's career game to one of Michael Jordan's greatest performances.
"If that's not an MJ performance tonight, I've never seen an MJ performance," said Cone. "That's one of MJ's greatest game right there except with Justin's body doing the thing. It's really amazing play by him."
Brownlee appreciated Cone's compliment but insisted that he just did his job to help the team win.
"I know it's a big game for us, it's a great opportunity for us to clinch a spot in the playoffs and just try to defend our crown," said Brownlee. "We just wanted to come out and be aggressive and just do whatever it takes to win this game."
With the offensive production coming from Brownlee, Pringle, and LA Tenorio, along with twin towers Japeth Aguilar and Greg Slaughter, Ginebra's main focus now is improving its defense.
"We know we're gonna be able to do things offensively with great offensive players," said Cone. "We can score on anybody, now the key for us is can we defend? That's what we're working on."
The Kings, who just booked a league-record 36th straight playoffs appearance, are looking to close out the elimination round with another win to avoid falling to a dangerous spot in the quarterfinals.
"We have Columbian on Sunday and I think if we can get that one, then we can move up," said Cone. "That would put us in the kind of position we want to be in."
With the current standings, the highest that Ginebra can finish is third place. If it's up to Cone, he wants to avoid facing San Miguel, which is still fighting for its life in the bottom tier, in the next round.
"We respect all the teams but obviously, we really don't want to play San Miguel in a quarterfinal match," said Cone. "We'd love to be top two but that's already decided for us so we just need to get to the highest seed we can get to."