MANILA, Philippines – Tim Cone has done nothing but win in 3 decades of coaching in the PBA, and with another title on the line, he does not intend to stop.
Cone can extend his PBA record of won championships to 22 as Barangay Ginebra looks to reassert its mastery over Meralco when they vie for the Governors' Cup crown for the third time in the last 4 seasons.
"Honestly, winning never gets old. Losing gets old in a hurry, but winning never gets old," Cone said on Saturday, January 4.
"That's why you keep on going – because you want to win [and] you don't want to get that loss. I think we're motivated."
Cone has been on a roll since he took over the coaching reins for the Gin Kings in 2015, guiding the team to 3 titles – two coming from the Governors' Cup in 2016 and 2017, both against the Bolts.
While he has nothing to prove in his famed career marked by 2 Grand Slams and 3 Coach of the Year plums, Cone is pressured to deliver, especially with the biggest PBA fan base rallying behind them.
"I think the fans keep me honest. I think the fans keep our players honest. They don't allow us to get complacent," Cone said.
"We see it every day in the streets – people coming up, asking why the series is taking so long, we should be playing it already. They're anxious, we're anxious."
Going up against Norman Black, an 11-time PBA champion coach, is another motivation for Cone.
Interestingly, Cone entered the PBA exactly in the same season Black established himself as one of the best tacticians in the league after leading San Miguel to a rare Grand Slam in 1989.
"That was always the bar in which you're trying to reach – you're trying to reach Norman's bar," Cone said.
"I still think that if he hadn't left for Ateneo and won all of those championships there, he'd have a lot more [PBA] championships under his belt," added Cone.
"Obviously, we've built a relationship over the years. But that doesn't detract from the fact that I certainly want to win and he certainly wants to win."
Game 1 of the best-of-seven finals will be staged at the Araneta Coliseum on Tuesday, January 7. – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.