Cone enjoys beating ChotBy Beth Celis
Philippine Daily Inquirer
ALTHOUGH they consider themselves the best of friends, having worked together as allies in the past, B-Meg coach Tim Cone said he gets a big kick out of beating Talk ‘N Text counterpart Chot Reyes.
“I enjoy beating Chot,” Tim told the media last Friday during the traditional pre-finals press conference held at the Topaz Room of the Gateway Suites.
It’s one way of saying that Tim looks up to his friend as one of the best bench tacticians in the PBA today, in the same league as he is.
It is also another way of saying that friendship will have to be set aside, at least for the duration of the best-of-seven championship series.
“Even our spouses have agreed to cancel their meetings in the next two weeks. Like Tim and I, they’re very close,” said Chot, who was Tim’s understudy at the Alaska camp when the Talk ‘N Text coach was just getting his feet wet in the PBA.
Tim also took Chot as one of his assistants when he was appointed head coach of the Philippine Centennial team.
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While the games in the championship series are not expected to be as rough and highly physical as those in the recent semifinal round between Talk ‘N Text and Barako Bull, PBA commissioner Chito Salud nevertheless issued a stern warning to all parties concerned.
“Focus on the game, this is my advice,” he told the players and the coaches present during the presscon, as he gave the assurance that the referees will be “fair, impartial, and will strictly follow the guidelines set by the league.
“Histrionics, theatrics are a waste of time and energy,” Salud added.
I could be accused of being clueless, but I just had to ask the commissioner point-blank yesterday: “Was the end part of your speech directed at the coaches?”
At presstime, there was still no answer from Salud.
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“If you think the games between Barako Bull and Talk ‘N Text in the semifinals had been highly physical, maybe I should invite you to watch the matches in the Developmental League,” said one of the D-League coaches.
“D-League games are more physical and rougher,” he said, “because the referees allow too much contact. “Tempers often flare and result in technical and/or flagrant fouls, not to mention a few fisticuffs.”
In one particular game, the same coach said a total of 13 technical and flagrant fouls were called.
Earlier this week, I took the coach up on his invitation. Well, he was not exaggerating. There were too much roughhousing, too many contacts, but too few calls.
Three or four times in one match, an exchange of blows nearly erupted on account of dirty plays.
Very exciting, I must admit, but very scary too because the players could get badly hurt if things get out of hand.
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Our best wishes to businessman-sportsman Bert Lina, who is celebrating his 64th birthday tomorrow.
“Bert is celebrating life at 64 and 15 years in Philippine sports,” said NLEX team consultant Allan Gregorio, who works for the executive at Air 21.
“Bert was team owner of the MBA’s Laguna Lakers in 1997, sponsor of the 1999 SEA Games champion cage team, joined the PBA in 2002 carrying the brand FedEx and revived the Marlboro Tour years ago, calling it Tour ng Pilipinas. He continues to be most active in sports. Mabuhay ka, Bert”!
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