Mendoza: Why San Mig Coffee keeps on winning

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By Al S. Mendoza

All Write

Saturday, February 15, 2014

THE just-ended semifinal series between San Mig Coffee and Barangay Ginebra produced stunning revelations, mostly coaching-wise.

First, Ato Agustin of Barangay Ginebra proved his worthiness as a coach by piloting the Gin Kings to the top of the heap in the eliminations.

Anytime at all, that is something to crow about, considering that all his nine opponents were—still are—never considered patsies. The PBA has always been known to be a certified hero factory—from players to coaches. You can’t be here without credentials as solid as the A-grades of a Harvard-educated lawyer. Also, you can only be here because you earned it, as in P-Noy advancing to Malacanang in 2010 because he routed his presidential foes using his vaunted upright virtues and the magic behind the Aquino name to haul the votes in his favor.


In short, Agustin’s track record to coach is unassailable; he has crowned himself a PBA champ many times already—as a player (San Miguel Beer—an MVP even) and as a coach (Petron Blaze).

Second, it was just too bad Agustin ran into Tim Cone.

Cone has brought his trophy-filled coaching style to the San Mig Coffee camp two years ago from his almost a quarter century of smashingly successful stint at Alaska. In six conferences with the Mixers, Cone was in four Finals and won two titles for SMC.

This is his second straight PBA championship battle after steering the Mixers to the Governors Cup victory last December.

You talk of winning PBA titles today, you only have Cone in mind.

Look what he’s done in the PLDT MyDSL semifinals against Barangay Ginebra. After losing Game 2 by 29 shocking points 64-93 for a 1-1 count, Cone would proceed to unleash strategies that blunted Ginebra’s pre-series billing as odds-on favorite to prevail.

And then, with all the marbles at stake in Game 7, Cone uncorked the full might of his coaching prowess to easily pocket that Finals-clinching 110-87 victory on Wednesday.

If Cone could not defeat Yeng Guiao’s Rain or Shine in the just-begun All-Filipino Finals, there’s only one word to describe it: Upset.


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 15, 2014.


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