Tim Cone won't be part of any SMC coaching rigodon, assures Pardo
San Mig Coffee governor Rene Pardo says head coach Tim Cone "is doing a good job with us" and there are no indications that he will be replaced or moved to another SMC team soon. Jerome Ascano

UNLESS something drastic happens, no way will San Mig Coffee part ways with coach Tim Cone.

Team governor Rene Pardo made this clear to Spin.ph on Thursday amidst swirling rumors Cone will be part of a coaching rigodon among the three teams under the San Miguel Group of Companies.

Speculations heightened over the weekend when La Salle cited a `re-organization within Petron’ as the major reason why it had to let go of coach Gee Abanilla, one of Olsen Racela’s deputies with the Boosters, a move many believe may mean the start of coaching revamp within the San Miguel franchise.

As rumors of Racela's impending exit grew louder, there had been talk that Cone may end up coaching SMC's flagship franchise, Petron, with newly minted ABL champion coach Leo Austria moving from San Miguel to San Mig and Abanilla taking over the Beermen coaching job.

Pardo, however, strongly doubts that San Mig will be affected by coaching changes, if any, within the SMC organization.  

“I don’t think so. Coach Tim is doing a good job with us,” stressed Pardo.

The former PBA chairman said Cone has been performing consistently for the team since coming over in 2011. He has steered the Mixers to two Finals appearances, including a championship in the 2012 Commissioner’s Cup, and hasn’t missed the playoffs in six straight conferences.

“That gauge on a performance is quite above average already, so I don’t think there’ll be changes in our own backyard,” said Pardo.

“But of course the last say is with our boss Mr. Ramon (Ang), but if you look at it based on performance, San Mig Coffee is doing well with Coach Tim,” he added.

The amiable team official also said the matter wasn’t even mentioned when he met with other top San Miguel executives on Monday during the birthday celebration of former Ambassador Eduardo `Danding’ Cojuangco.

“We met (other San Miguel team officials). Wala namang nabanggit na ganun,” Pardo said. “Based on experience at hindi nabanggit na ganun, wala yun. Rumor lang yun.”

Cone has been in the US for the past two weeks in the company of his daughter Nikki, who just graduated with a degree in Pre-Law at the James Madison University in Virginia. The multi-titled coach won’t be back until next week.

With Cone on vacation, Pardo was also quick to downplay rumors involving the team, just like the one that came out regarding a trade deal involving sophomore point guard Mark Barroca which shocked even his pretty wife Russelle.

“Totoo ba yun? Hindi ko rin kasi pinapa-alam kay Mark eh,” said Mrs. Barroca.

But Pardo said no proposal from team manager Alvin Patrimonio has reached his desk yet.

“Wala pang naipapadala sa aking ganyan. Tim Cone is still out of the country and he will be definitely be consulted if there are any changes to the lineup,” said Pardo, who likewise laughed off stories about James Yap and Peter June Simon supposedly on the trading block.

“Ang dami ko ngang mga naririnig, pero (we) treat it as rumor dahil dadaan muna kay coach Tim yan bago sa akin,” he added.

The Mixers are also on a vacation and won’t be back for practice until July 8.

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