Mar 26, 2020

Coronavirus has forced Cone to take longest break from basketball

FOR more than three decades, Tim Cone has been embracing the philosophy 'ball is life'.

He has been coaching practically non-stop since starting his PBA career with Alaska in 1989.

But this global crisis known as Covid-19, an easily transmitted and potentially deadly disease, has disrupted Cone's work routine.

As far as he could remember the ongoing lockdown - imposed by President Rodrigo Duterte to hopefully prevent the spread of the disease --marks his longest break from basketball.

"Never in my lifetime have I seen anything so disruptive to everyday life," stressed the PBA's winningest coach in a text message to

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But life goes on for Cone, owner of the league's two grand slam feats and a record 22 championships, who continues to stay productive in whatever ways possible.

For now, Cone has stopped pushing his players to stay hungry and focused for another possible championship run. The former national team coach said he is more concerned about his team's health and safety.

"I'm more concerned about motivating them to stay healthy and safe right now in this unprecedented time. We give the players daily home workout regimens that we expect them to follow," Cone said.

"We have a Viber group where we can send messages to the players and monitor everyone's health and safety."

Cone himself has stayed productive.

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"As for me, I try to watch one NBA game a day and watch it in replay through League Pass choosing different teams to watch, depending on what I'm looking for (offensive sets, defensive schemes, etc)," he said.

Cone also uses the temporary break to spend more time doing what he loves.

"I work with my 14-year-old son on basketball fundamentals. We have a small shooting court here at the house. I also dabble in some writing that I always like to do in my spare time while my wife has been spending her time donating to numerous worthy causes and helping wherever she can." (RJ)