Cone: I want to know Mark Caguioa
Getting to know Ginebra’s top dog Mark Caguioa is high on Tim Cone’s to-do list as he takes over the coaching duties for Ginebra.
“I’m excited to know who Mark Caguioa is, what kind of guy he’s like,” he said.
Learning from his past experience when he jumped ship from Alaska to B-Meg/Purefoods after more than two decades, Cone knew that earning the respect of the team’s undoubted leader is one of the first steps in the new journey with the Gin Kings.
And eerily, this brings Cone back to the time when he first handled the Purefoods franchise with James Yap as the team’s best player.
“I came into Purefoods with great trepidation about coaching James Yap. I only knew him with the Kris Aquino stuff, what I saw in TV. With Alaska, we can’t stop him in basketball games. I didn’t know his personality, what kind of person he was. That was a scary thing coming in, and as it turns out, James has been an absolutely wonderful person, quiet and unassuming,” he said.
The multi-titled mentor said that Purefoods’ success under his tutelage, four championships including a Grand Slam in 2014, was largely because of Yap’s willingness to buy into his system.
“James really sacrificed himself to mesh himself to the system. For me, that will be his greatest legacy for this era of the team. He really sacrificed his game to mesh himself into the system. If he hadn’t done that, we wouldn’t have the success that we had. I had to convince him that he needs to be this type of James so that everybody gets involved and we could achieve as a team. That was one of my greatest achievements on a coaching standpoint and I truly love him for that.”
The challenge of getting to know the players and convincing them to embrace his system like what he did with Yap and Purefoods is one of the things that excites Cone about his new designation.
“One of the primary reasons why I left Alaska was if to know if I could grow and do something different. I know LA (Tenorio), but I don’t know Mark, Mac Baracael, Chris Ellis, I don’t know these guys,” he said. “I think one of the things that excites me is coming to a new situation and one of the big things I had from Alaska to Purefoods is how could I come in and help with the change of culture, impart the culture we developed, get a buy-in from the players, and see if we’re gonna be successful.”
“Here I am, four years later, doing it again. That’s exciting for me. I’m looking forward to the challenge.” CFC
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