Mendoza: Cone stands to smash more records-A A +A
Monday, October 28, 2013
ANOTHER win. Another milestone. Another day in the office.
In recording another feat in his storied coaching career, Tim Cone made it all so laughably easy.
“I didn’t even coach that much,” he said.
His Game 7 victory on Friday had clinched for him a record 15th title.
Just when every soul from the 21,319 crowd at the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City, thought a thriller was in the offing, Cone’s San Mig Coffee Mixers broke away beyond recall in the homestretch.
It was like hearing Cone say before that upheaval, “Enough of the hanky-panky, guys. Let’s get down to business.”
When Cone’s San Mig Coffee finalized an 87-77 win over Petron Blaze, the stunned crowd must have asked: “What happened there? Aren’t we supposed to watch a show?”
It was a show. For Cone. By Cone. Of Cone.
Yet, he didn’t even make an effort.
“It was all team effort by the boys,” he said. “I didn’t play my whole part. They did their whole part. They did everything. It was nice looking at them play their best. I dropped everything, including coaching.”
That’s how good Cone is. That’s how Cone metamorphosed into one of the best coaches in the PBA.
It wasn’t that he made it all so easy when it was time to act.
It was that he acted the part when the cue was signaled.
And the signal was none other than a gory demolition being suddenly hatched by his shock troopers led by Mark Barroca, Marqus Blakely and Marc Pingris, the Finals MVP.
When it was over, Cone said, “I am speechless. Let me just simply say, it was a coach’s delight to watch everything fall into place.”
In pocketing his 15th title in 24 years of coaching, Cone tied the all-time record held by the legendary Virgilio “Baby” Dalupan, whose cache of titles include the first PBA Grand Slam for Crispa in 1976.
Standing alongside Dalupan is totally huge.
But Cone’s feat has become beautifully scary because, at age 55, he has all the time to smash that record and become the winningest coach in PBA lore.
That quest begins on Nov. 17 with the start of the PBA All-Filipino series.
“No thoughts about that now,” Cone said. “Let me just savor this moment first.”
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 29, 2013.