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Jul 22, 2015
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With news coming out confirming that Coach Tim Cone is indeed moving to Ginebra, basketball fans are hit with a heavy dose of reality.

Yes, people, this is really happening.

Not a few were shocked with the coaching change, and we dare say it's the biggest pasabog so far in the local league's offseason break this year. We mean, Cone under Ginebra management? Old school Alaska fanboys would've said "Blasphemy!" given the two team's heated encounters in the '90s and the fact that, for the longest time, the PBA's winningest coach looked like he's staying put with Alaska.

However in 2011, Cone surprised everyone when he transferred to the then BMEG Llamados which went on to bag five championships including four straight and a rare Grand Slam under the San Mig Coffee banner. Four years later, we have this breaking development.

What this development again proves is that no one can tell what will happen in a league as dynamic as the PBA. Still, that doesn't mean we can't try. So, as we do with other things that arouse our hoops-crazy brain cells, we've come up with a list of predictions for a Ginebra ballclub under the strict, Triangle Offense-running leadership of Coach Tim.


THE COACHING STAFF WILL WEAR SUITS

tim coneImage via Spin.ph

Tim Cone's signature long-sleeves-and-tie look will be a staple on the Ginebra bench. His former teams adopted it well: The Alaska coaching staff has kept the look while the Star Hotshots would be wise to keep it as well. He’ll likely incorporate the style for his new crew not only to make things look more professional on the bench but as a way to proclaim "I'm the boss now."


GINEBRA WON'T WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP IN ITS FIRST SEASON UNDER TIM CONE

tim coneGIF via Tumblr.com

The SMC management is tempering fan expectations, saying that they won’t win a championship overnight (to which all the shuffled coaches of Ginebra over the past three years were like, "Pwede pala yun!"). Coach Tim’s addition will definitely make Ginebra a contender, but he probably won’t deliver a championship right away. A lot has to be done—the coaching change is just the start. It will take more than a conference for Cone to build the team that he wants, and we're giving him at least two to do so (he won a championship in his first three conferences with BMEG, so that's a fair number).

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STABILITY WILL FINALLY COME

tim coneImage via Spin.ph

Ginebra has gone through six coaches in three years. That’s a lot of "systems" to think about for the players. With a resume as impressive as Coach Tim’s, the players can rest assured that the system they’ll be using won’t be gone after one conference, win or lose. He'll need time, and the SMC management will be willing to oblige because they have complete trust in him (who wouldn't?).


CHANGES IN THE TRIANGLE


Video via Sajmcal

While Coach Tim is the foremost preacher of the Triangle Offense locally, he might find this as an opportunity to reinvent himself as a coach. Shades of his system will surely be there, but in a franchise with such a rich culture, he might immerse himself in the Ginebra ways. Expect a fierier Tim Cone who uses a faster-paced system than what we're accustomed to seeing from his teams. Look at this as a way for him to improve further, because he knows he's still a student of the game. That's just how he is.


GINEBRA WILL BE THE BUSIEST OFFSEASON TEAM IN THE NEXT TWO SEASONS

tim coneImage via Spin.ph

The current Ginebra team is a talented bunch, but we're pretty sure it's not exactly the team Coach Tim wants. He knows the players he needs and doesn't need, and a big shakeup is inevitable. Based on his previous team, the Purefoods Star Hotshots, he likes players with length and can play multiple positions so expect him to trade for players similar to an Alex Mallari and a Joe Devance. The question now is, who will stay and who will go? It's gonna get interesting, to say the least.


MARK CAGUIOA AND JAYJAY HELTERBRAND WILL HAVE ONE LAST CHAMPIONSHIP RUN

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They’ve had their time, and more young players are emerging every year. The Fast and the Furious will work their butts off for that one final push in order to call it a career, and Cone might just be the boost they've been waiting for (that is if they don't get traded first).


GREG SLAUGHTER WILL BE A LEGIT JUNE MAR FAJARDO RIVAL

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Coach Tim was interested in getting Greg Slaughter in the 2013 PBA Draft. Instead, they got Ian Sangalang (because Slaughter was picked by Ginebra at Number One), who he turned into a key piece of his already-stacked San Mig Coffee team. With him finally getting the chance to coach Slaughter, Cone can turn the seven-footer into a legit June Mar rival especially since his system benefits from having a solid low-post presence.

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Slaughter will be among the focal points of his offensive scheme which means more playing and training for the big guy. We all know how Coach Tim turned Sonny Thoss into one of the best centers in the land, and it's not as if Slaughter has zero skillsthe giant is already among the PBA's top big men (14.7 ppg and 10.15 rpg career averages). Scary thought for the rest of the league.


ALEX MALLARI WILL REUNITE WITH CONE

tim coneImage via Spin,ph

The third overall pick in the 2012 draft almost looked like a bust playing for the then Petron Blaze Boosters. However, a trade to the Purefoods franchise revived his career, so much so that Coach Tim called him "the most underrated defensive player" in the league. Despite the selection of guards in the Ginebra roster, there’s no one quite like Mallari in their fold. Sooner or later, he will be on the team's wish list and, given Cone's skills for acquiring the pieces that he wants, it might just be a matter of time.


JAPETH AGUILAR OR CHRIS ELLIS WILL BE TRADED

tim coneImage via Spin,ph

Sure the dunks are exciting, but there can only be room for one high-flyer on Coach Tim's floor. Aguilar and Ellis are effective players in their own right, and could be the centerpiece of a blockbuster deal. Ginebra probably won't trade both away, but they might need to part ways with one of them if they want to get highly-coveted players (or draft picks) from other teams. Also, remember that teams coached by Cone aren't flashy but hella effective. He'll be more than willing to sacrifice highlights for a player who fits the team better. Let the guessing game begin!

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