MANILA, Philippines—Tim Cone’s “leap of faith” has seen him land onto the lap of giant San Miguel as head coach of the B-Meg Derby Ace Llamados.
The grand slam-winning Cone, who took the plunge after serving as Alaska mentor for 22 years, met with the players and coaching staff of the Llamados, then held his first practice season Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Cone met with SMC president and CEO Ramon Ang and former PBA chair and Purefoods top executive Butch Alejo and signed what the Inquirer learned is “a long term deal,” although no figures were mentioned.
Cone, who has been assured of Ang’s full support, will also work partly with SMC’s newly appointed sports director, former PBA commissioner and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas officer Noli Eala.
As part of his buildup for the Llamados, Cone has recruited former ward Jeffrey Cariaso to be his assistant coach.
Cone’s other assistants would be Richard Del Rosario and Coy Banal as well as former PBA MVP Johnny Abarrientos, who was moved to B-Meg from Barangay Ginebra.
Eala said he and Cone had spoken to Cariaso, who had settled down in the United States, and convinced him to accept the position.
After considering several offers, Cone, winner of 13 championships and a grand slam in 1996 for the Aces, finally decided to join the San Miguel conglomerate.
“I considered it an honor to be a part of the San Miguel family,” said Cone. “B-Meg is a great team and I am excited about the new challenge and the opportunity to bring my coaching skills to an entirely different level.”