Filipino basketball coaches have nothing but praises for LeBron James for leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 93-89 victory over the Golden State Warriors in the seventh winner-take-all game of the NBA Finals.
“That is phenomenal. After Golden State took a 3-1 lead in Game 4, then it became a LeBron show in the last three games allowing Cleveland to win the series. That’s a great performance,” said Coach Tim Cone of Barangay Ginebra, who led the Alaska Aces and the Purefoods Star Hotshots to grand slam titles in the Philippine Basketball Association.
“There is only one LeBron James in the world. The other NBA teams are also asking for a LeBron but there’s only one and they can’t have him,” added Cone.
James’ triple-double performance powered the Cavaliers to win Game 7. Before that, the 31-year-old James posted two 40-point output in Game 5 (112-97) and 6 (115-101) to help the Cavaliers tie the series 3-3.
James finished with 41 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds in Game 6. In Game 5, he notched 41 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists. Cleveland bagged Game 3 (120-90), while Golden State claimed Game 1 (104-98), Game 2 (110-77) and Game 4 (108-97).
Coach Aldin Ayo of De La Salle University, who led his former team the Letran Knights to victory in the National Collegiate Athletic Association senior’s basketball tournament last year was also amazed how James achieved the improbable.
“LeBron is a great all-around athlete but skill-wise it is [Stephen] Curry. But LeBron carried Cleveland to championship and he made the impossible, possible,” Ayo said. “The entire series particularly the last part went to LeBron and Cleveland benefited.”
Ayo also believes that controversy in game officiating has no bearing in the outcome of Game 7.
“It has nothing to do with that [officiating]. In fact, the game was close in the last few minutes before LeBron took charge. It was LeBron, nothing but LeBron and he’s really, really good. He is very determined to win a title.”
Meanwhile, Talk ‘N Text coach Jong Uichico said that climbing out of a 1-3 deficit in the best-of-seven series to win the title is absolutely a rare case. “It just happened but there are only few teams that did that. If you will ask me, it is still better to be in a situation where you’re up by 3-1 than down by two games.”