‘Best part of winning was Spoelstra coming to BMeg locker room’—ConeBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines—It wasn’t just extending the PBA finals series to another game that was the highlight of B-Meg head coach Tim Cone’s Wednesday night.
Seeing NBA champion coach Erik Spoelstra waltz into the winning squad’s locker room after the game was the “very, very best part of winning.”
“The very very best part of winning tonight was ‘Coach Spo’ coming to our locker room tonight and I’m so honored,” said an obviously exhausted Cone following B-Meg’s 91-81 victory over Rain or Shine in game five.
“If we had lost, he probably would not have come,” he added.
A visit from Spoelstra was just one of the many perks of effectively clamping down on the Elastopainters with a workmanlike team effort from the Llamados.
“I think it was our turn to play like wounded tigers,” said Cone. “We came out and played with tremendous energy.”
Perhaps Cone drew inspiration from the sidelines at the Smart Araneta Coliseum where Spoelstra, who steered the NBA favorites Miami Heat to an anticipated NBA title last July, was sitting during the game.
“I knew him before he got Lebron James and Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh,” said Cone of Spoelstra, who is in his fourth visit to the country.
“I knew him when he was telling me that he needed Michael Beasly to play really for him for them to have a chance next year,” Cone added.
When Spoelstra took over the coaching reins from mentor Pat Riley, he transformed a Miami squad with the worst record in the NBA to 43-39 team ensuing season with just a few solid additions to the line-up, until he eventually got the ‘Big Three’ in tow.
“And he hasn’t changed at all, from that moment. Getting those guys and getting that NBA championship. It shocks me, that he can still be the same guy,” he said.