Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Tim Cone faces old team as B-Meg tackles Alaska
They had a start they didn’t hope for last week and the fiery American’s latest stab at a first PBA Philippine Cup victory with his new squad comes Wednesday against no less than his former squad, the Aces, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.
Game time is 7:30 p.m., and Cone, like he has always done throughout his career, is trying to keep everyone’s eyes off himself and shift them to his players.
“I know in many people’s minds that this is a big game,” Cone said. “But as a team we want to approach this as just another game we need to advance in the standings. If it’s a big game, it’s only because both teams are coming off a loss.
“Are there going to be some butterflies for me personally? Certainly,” he continued. “But I don’t think that will be the case for the players, and they are the ones who count in this game.”
Two other teams also looking for first wins—Meralco and Shopinas.com—clash in the 5:15 p.m. contest.
The Triangle Offense was still alien for the Llamados when they narrowly lost to tournament-leader Petron Blaze last week, and Cone will get the chance to employ it against another formidable squad Wednesday night.
But the biggest test for them is that the Aces know the Triangle like the back of their collective hands.
Joel Banal, who took over from Cone, has a system of his own, but after having served as Cone’s deputy for most of his career, he could be one step ahead of the B-Meg coach.
James Yap and Kerby Raymundo, superstars who openly said that they prefer the Triangle more than any system they were in, didn’t produce the same numbers that they used to in that game against the Boosters.
They were held to just 10 points each and Cone would obviously want their respective productions to improve. Peter June Simon came off the bench and scored heavily for Cone against Petron.
Cyrus Baguio, LA Tenorio and Sonny Thoss will as usual carry the fight for the Aces, whose last championship with Cone came in the 2010 Fiesta Conference with the talented Diamon Simpson.