BY doing nothing in the trade season, Tim Cone hopes to accomplish his goals for San Mig Coffee in the PBA Governors Cup.
Putting a premium on chemistry, Cone has made a conscious effort to keep his lineup intact and help the players develop the camaraderie and togetherness which he feels is essential in building a championship team.
So much so that while a couple of big trades went down in the offseason, San Mig's only movements were to re-acquire former reserve guard Val Acuna and bring in former Petron coach Olsen Racela to fill the spot left by longtime deputy Koy Banal, who has joined the Boosters.
“It’s just Val Acuna and Olsen Racela. We don’t have any plans for trades. We want to stay intact and work with what we have and get more familiar and confident with what we do,” said the grand slam-winning coach.
“We believe it (chemistry) only happens when you stay together as a lineup. We want to stay as intact as much as possible,” said Cone, who has gone without a championship since winning his first one with San Mig in last season's Commissioner's Cup.
Cone also believes that familiarity breeds success as far as imports are concerned, the reason he has brought back Marqus Blakely for the tournament kicking off on August 14.
“He (Blakely) is familiar with what we do, we’re familiar with him," said Cone. "That gives us an edge over a lot of the other teams."
If there are changes in the San Mig camp, it should be the bigger roles Cone expects young point guards Mark Barroca and Alex Mallari are bound to play for one of the league's older teams.
“We’re changing things up. Guys are developing and Mark and Alex will be much better this conference, the demands on their game that they had last conference (will) lift them to another level,” he said.
The multi-titled coach is also hoping that injuries will no longer be an issue this time, given the long rest James Yap and Co. have enjoyed since their exit in the Commissioner's Cup.
“We had a nice long break. That’s important for us, we’re a little bit of an older team. We are not young anymore," he said.
“We have some lingering injuries. If we can get healthy that bodes well for us this conference.”
San Mig star guard Peter June Simon is confident the ballclub can maintain its place among the top teams in the league hierarchy.
“We expect na andun pa rin kami sa top teams. Lalo na ngayon na gusto ni coach na intact yung team at makuha namin yung familiarity,” said the Cotabato-born dribbler.
“Hopefully malayo ang maabot namin ngayon. Grabe din yung support sa amin ng fans so expect nila na ibibigay namin ang lahat,” Simon added.
The 33-year old guard is also optimistic that scoring partner and team superstar James Yap will recover from the injuries that hounded him last conference and rediscover his old deadly form.