'Not our holiday' | Inquirer Sports

‘Not our holiday’

Cone hopes to weave season-ending magic anew
/ 04:03 AM December 22, 2019

There’s something about the third conference of a PBA season that puts Tim Cone in some sort of hyperdrive. And he seems to always find the right guy to lead him to the championship.

What the Barangay Ginebra coach can’t do is put a finger on the reason.

Maybe it’s because having smaller imports allows his big guys like Japeth Aguilar (Bong Hawkins, then) to soar without having to deal with hulking paint blockers. Or maybe smaller imports put less shot changers in the lane, allowing guards like LA Tenorio, Stanley Pringle and Scottie Thompson (Johnny Abarrientos, Jojo Lastimosa then) easier access to the basket.


“Through the years, most of my teams have done well in championships in the third conference—the Governors’ Cup. I don’t know. Maybe [because] it’s the year-end?” Cone said.


There’s one factor, however, that doesn’t need much head-scratching.

Like in Sean Chambers before with Alaska, Cone has found a gem of a reinforcement in the oft-returning Justin Brownlee.

Cone leads the championship list of PBA coaches with 21 titles to his name. Eleven of those crowns came at the end of the season—six with Chambers and two with Brownlee.

Brownlee gets a shot at adding to his total and Cone a chance at reestablishing his dominance in season-ending wars.Working holidays

The Kings finished off their semifinal duel with banged-up yet pesky NorthPort, 120-107, on Friday night and Cone plans to sew a few practice sessions into his team’s holiday plans.

“In my mind, I would think we would practice the morning of 24. Let them have the rest of the day off so we can finish it, then go back to work on the 26th,” Cone said.


“We’ll try to find a couple of days off here and there.”

The goal is to avoid falling into any sort of complacency after being the first team to tab a Finals ticket.

“[There’s] not really much of an advantage at this point,” he told reporters shortly after the Gin Kings punched their third ticket to the Governors’ Cup Finals in the last four years.

Cone pointed out that taking too much time off renders whatever strides they have made thus far futile.

“You take too much time off, you lose the momentum you have. I just have to explain to the guys that it’s gonna be everybody else’s holidays, but it’s not gonna be ours,” Cone said.“This is work for us.”

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It’s hard to question the wisdom forged through 21 championships, including a handful won around Christmastime. INQ

TAGS: Baranga Ginebra Kings, Basketball, PBA, Sports

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