PBA: Jojo Lastimosa aiming to emulate Tiim Cone's blueprint: 'He treats his players the same way' | Inquirer Sports
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PBA: Jojo Lastimosa aiming to emulate Tiim Cone’s blueprint: ‘He treats his players the same way’

/ 08:30 PM April 09, 2023

Jojo Lastimosa TNT PBA

TNT coach Jojo Lastimosa. PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines—Though coaching only on a temporary basis, Jojo Lastimosa has been making a good account of himself in calling the shots for TNT in the PBA Governors’ Cup.

And much of that, ironically, is from the very man he is coaching against in this tournament’s championship series: the multitiled Tim Cone.

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Lastimosa said he could come up with a laundry list of things he tries to emulate from the Barangay Ginebra and the league’s winningest mentor, who is also his former coach. But it’s the way Cone treats his players across the board that he fancies the most.

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“One thing not being talked about Tim is his relationship with his players—how he deals with his players,” he told the Inquirer. “He treats his players the same way from 1 through 15. So how he corrects the play of his No. 1 player, that’s how he would do with his No. 15 player.”

“(That) has been (Tim’s) blueprint ever since: Have high-character players who run a really tight system on both offense and defense,” he added.

Lastimosa was originally brought into the TNT franchise as team manager back in June last year. He took over for Chot Reyes early this year to help the national coach focus on Gilas Pilipinas’ preparations for the Fiba World Cup here in August.

A 10-time PBA champion who won the glut of those titles with the fabled Alaska franchise, Lastimosa paired his winning pedigree with the coaching model he drew from Cone.

The result was undeniable. TNT marched to a 10-1 mark that eventually brought the Tropang Giga to the Finalé of the season-ending conference.

Lastimosa said he looks to milk his best practices as his charges try to solve the puzzle that is the Gin Kings’ stranglehold of the season-ending conference.

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“It’s just communication,” he said.

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“I think (my players) are motivated to go up against Ginebra. And they’re out to prove a point—that Justin (Brownlee) could be beaten, too. He’s human after all,” Lastimosa added.

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