Leaving Star players hardest part of Ginebra transfer, says Cone
Tim Cone has to come to terms with his transfer to Barangay Ginebra in such a short period of time.
But more than anything, it’s leaving his players behind that’s the hardest part for Cone.
“The last thing I expected was to be sitting here coaching Ginebra,” the American coach said, addressing the media for the first time as the head coach of the Gin Kings on Thursday.
Cone is leaving a storied Purefoods franchise after five championships in just four years, including the Grand Slam in the 2014 season.
“I love my players. That’s the hardest part for me is leaving behind the players of Star Hotshots. The memories, all the adversities we fought through over the last four years, that’s gonna be the hardest part. The fans who are so supportive and awesome, leaving them behind and moving forward is really difficult.”
The coaching shake up, Cone said, was done to get Ginebra up to par with its sister squads and Grand Slam squads San Miguel and Star–both have had a chance to show dominance in the recent years.
Ginebra, meanwhile, hasn’t had a taste of the Grand Slam much less a championship since the 2008 Fiesta Conference.
“This whole decision is an organizational decision, trying to do the best for the organization. It’s not that we want to Ginebra to be good and Purefoods to be bad. Purefoods is in a good spot. I feel the farther they get away from the Grand Slam, the more motivated they’re going to get, the more energy they’re gonna get coming back. We’re trying to get them both up there,” he said.
Cone’s first order of business is to make the Gin Kings competitive anew.
“I talked about being the crown jewel of San Miguel organization a year ago. If you can beat the other two teams, generally, that makes you the best team already. If you can be the crown jewel, that means you have a chance to compete and win championships. We’re all competing, trying to get up there. San Miguel is the dominant team. A year ago, the Hotshots were the dominant team. We’re trying to raise Ginebra up to that level.”
“The organization wants all three teams to be up there.” CFC
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