The beauty of being 'Ginebra', according to Tim Cone

October 09, 2017

BARANGAY Ginebra being Barangay Ginebra is both a boon and a bane.

Looking to retain its PBA Governors Cup title, the Kings had to turn back one challenge after the other on their way to setting up a rematch with the Meralco Bolts for the season-ending championship.

And while the return bout with the Bolts spark a budding rivalry between the two franchises - especially after Ginebra frustrated Meralco a year ago behind Justine Brownlee's memorable three-pointer at the buzzer for the title-clinching game - coach Tim Cone believes just about everyone is really after the heads of the Kings.

From sister teams San Miguel and Star to corporate rivals TnT Katropa to Meralco, Cone said the mantra is to get Ginebra's head.

"The problem with Ginebra in all honesty, everyone is a rival. Everybody looks at Ginebra differently from the other teams," said Cone, who earned his 31st Finals appearance after the Kings eliminated the Katropa in Game Four of their semi-finals series Sunday with a 115-105 win.

"With the rival of TnT, with the rival of San Miguel, with the rival of 'Manila Classico', with the rival of Alaska," added the two-time grand slam coach as he enumerated the teams that have had a classic history with the league's most popular ballclub in the past.

Not that Cone, 59, is complaining.

""That's the beauty of being Ginebra. You are that team and you have that stature, and also a curse, because everybody is going to bring their best against you," he noted.

"We take on all comers."

After spoiling the grand slam bid of the Beermen and coach Nash Racela first ever championship as head coach of the Katropa, the Kings will now try to ruin again the Bolts' attempt at a first ever championship franchise.

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And after surviving talented but volatile Glen Rice Jr. and the Katropa in the semis, Cone said the Kings are ready against the top seeded Bolts and Allen Durham, the reigning conference Best Import.

"We're looking forward to being back in the finals again," said the most accomplished coach in the history of the league. "We're looking forward to rocket crowd, and hopefully, we'll be able to play well."