Cone owes coaching milestone to Dalupan | Inquirer Sports

Cone owes coaching milestone to Dalupan

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 12:20 AM February 28, 2014

Tim Cone takes home his 16th championship in the PBA Wednesday night. NOY MORCOSO/

MANILA, Philippines — Watching legendary coach Virgilio “Baby” Dalupan get the traditional victory ride 24 years ago ripped the heart of Tim Cone.

It was the end of Game 5 of the 1990 PBA Third Conference Finals between Alaska and Purefoods. Cone’s first championship bid as Alaska head coach became an occasion for  Dalupan to clinch his 15th and last league title.


On Wednesday night, the American coaching marvel blazed his own trail of glory and ended the reign of “The Maestro” as the winningest bench strategist in PBA history.


Cone surpassed Dalupan’s number of titles with 16 after his San Mig Coffee Mixers won the 2014 PLDT MyDSL Philippine Cup, but continued to acknowledge Baby’s legacy.

“He’s our father, he’s the father of all coaches here,” said Cone after the Mixers wrapped up the best-of-seven series with an 81-74 victory over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in Game 6. “Because of that mantle, he will never be equalled, he will never be surpassed.

“Someone could get 25 (titles) and get past me, but Baby will still be the greatest of all time, no doubt,” added Cone.

While Dalupan gifted the Purefoods franchise its first crown during Alaska’s monumental collapse in 1990, Cone will be remembered for guiding the club to its 11th title and sixth all-Filipino plum, the most in the league.

“My first finals appearance was Baby’s last title. We’re leading 2-0 in a best-of-five and I was swept in the next three games,” Cone said.

“Baby tore my heart out and he retired two conferences later. That was my claim to fame, coaching against him in the finals.”


There were several instances in this conference in which the Mixers could just fold up.

From a conference-worst start of 1-5, the Mixers steadily rose from the pits, beating the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters in the quarterfinals before slipping past the Barangay Ginebra Kings to set up the duel with the Painters.

“We’re 1-5, 3-6, lost Game 2 to Talk ‘N Text, and then by 29 points to Ginebra—just so many opportunities for us to quit and we didn’t,” said Cone.

One of these days, Cone said he would like to shake the hand of the 90-year-old Dalupan, who garnered a career total of 52 championship titles in various leagues in 36 years.

“I’ll visit him,” said Cone. “I really want to go and honor him.”


After nabbing record 16th title, Tim Cone pays tribute to late Capacio

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Tim Cone on eclipsing Baby Dalupan: No one will surpass him

TAGS: Baby Dalupan, Basketball, PBA, PBA Philippine Cup, Purefoods, San Mig Coffee Mixers, Sports, Tim Cone

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