A tale of two debates | Inquirer Sports
One Game At A Time

A tale of two debates

/ 01:13 AM March 06, 2014

The recently concluded PBA Philippine Cup sparked two interesting debates.

The first is quite typical of sports. Who’s better—Tim Cone or Baby Dalupan—is one of those spirited discussions, the stuff online or bar stool arguments are made of.

Cone finally surpassed Dalupan’s 15 conference title wins with the San Mig Coffee Mixers’ triumph in the conference still more popularly known as the All-Filipino no matter how much name tweaking is done.

It is also one debate that many would refuse to engage in out of respect for the brilliant Dalupan, who as Cone declared in the endgame hoopla after winning his 16th title, is the “father of all of us coaches.”


Dalupan will probably take the honor and Cone would not mind. As an American who grew up and lives in the Philippines and as a PBA fan, Cone is aware of Dalupan’s triumphs in the old Micaa, National Seniors, UAAP, NCAA and the pro league.

Cone saw how Dalupan would beat his favorite Toyota team every now and then and witnessed how the Maestro’s Purefoods squad came back from 2-0 against his Alaska unit in the 1990 Third Conference best-of-five finale.

Each coach is brilliant in his own way and era. Dalupan’s greatness was in a time when there were no real assistant coaches, endless game discs to watch and scouting to be done.

Dalupan won those PBA championships with three different teams by shuffling well the cards that were dealt him.


Cone’s strength is his ability to get the players to execute the Triangle Offense and its intricacies.

Getting good players to become great within a playing framework is not easy to do and Cone gets them to trust the system.


At a time when most players are sometimes too concerned with extending their PBA careers, Cone gets his players to follow a team concept.

The other debate is about another walkout erupting in the pro league. Rain or Shine decided to pack up in the second quarter of Game 6 when the Elasto Painters felt that the officiating wasn’t going their way.

Whether it was strategy or frustration that prompted the move, fans will never fully come to terms with walkouts.

The Elasto Painters did return but it was still a walkout by any other name or amount of time spent away from the court.

For walkouts, there are heavy financial consequences to the team in terms of fines imposed by the Commissioner’s office.

But most of those who have filed out in the league’s history will claim that all they wanted to do was to send a message about the officiating.

Having covered on TV Anejo’s exit march in the finals against Shell in the ’90s and Talk ‘N Text’s version a few years ago and now, seeing one more in the recent finals, I still wonder what a walkout really achieves.

I sympathize with the frustration of coaches but I also think about the fans in the stands who will have no more game to watch and the poor TV coveror who will have tons of dead air no matter how much the production tries to stretch the issue.

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Aside from the games, debates are what make sports worth following.

TAGS: Baby Dalupan, PBA, Philippine Cup, Tim Cone

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