Coach Tim Cone delighted to see return of Ginebra fans

Published December 19, 2021, 2:12 AM

by Jonas Terrado

Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone (PBA Images)

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel coach Tim Cone was delighted to see his team play in front of its legion of fans for the first time since the pandemic.

Cone and the Gin Kings rolled to a 108-82 win over the NorthPort Batang Pier in Friday’s game that saw their supporters cheer for every basket, jeer on opposing player Robert Bolick and shout the famous chant popularized during the Jaworski era.

“I remember, it was making our first basket. And there was a roar, And I go, ‘Whoa! Wow! I’ve never heard that.’ It was like a brand new feeling all over again,” Cone said after the game.

“And then coming from the timeouts, a few, ‘GI-NE-BRA! GI-NE-BRA!’ it was really… I don’t know what the word is. But it was just so satisfying hearing that again and being a part of it.

The drop in COVID-19 cases in the past few months and the subsequent relaxing of restrictions eventually led to the PBA being allowed to once again stage its games before a live audience.

And Cone made sure he would be dressed for the occasion.

Cone and his coaching staff once again wore their long sleeves and necktie, a tradition they opted to forego during Ginebra’s 2020 title run, this year’s Philippine Cup and its opening assignment in the Governors’ Cup without the crowd.

“We always said that the neckties would come back when the fans come back,” said Cone. |And this is the first time we’ve seen the fans, so we want to put the neckties back on. Our coaching staff was like, ‘Awww, man.’

“For me, I was excited. it’s been my thing. For me, when I put that necktie back on, it triggers that feeling of normalcy for me. I’m happy.

“I don’t look as good in a necktie as I did 20 years ago, 30 years ago when I started coaching, I look kinda fat, and ugly, and old now. Still, it’s tradition, ‘di ba? So I gotta wear it.”