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    Chot Reyes: 'San Mig has all the grand slam ingredients - great coach, great players, all-out management support'

    Jun 22, 2014
    Gilas coach Chot Reyes expects Tim Cone to have a second grand slam tucked under his belt before the season is over. Jerome Ascano

    CHOT Reyes was the last coach to come close to a PBA grand slam, coming "24 minutes away" from completing the rare season sweep with Talk 'N Text back in 2011.

    He expects to see one in 2014.

    "Yes," the Gilas Pilipinas coach answered without a moment of hesitation when asked if he expects San Mig to become only the fifth team in the pro league's 39 years to sweep all three conferences in a season.

    Asked what made him think so, the five-time PBA Coach of the Year said he feels this San Mig team has the perfect "grand slam ingredient" in a great coach, great players, and bottomless support from management.

    "Look, Tim has built a career out of winning championships against the league's big boys, and by big boys I mean the teams that have the big budgets from management," Reyes said.

    "Now you put him in a situation where he has everything, this is what happens. You have a great coach, great players and all-out support. That's a grand slam combination right there.

    "There are times when you see a great coach never winning a grand slam, or great players not winning a grand slam. But if you have both, then you have a great combination."

    Already the most successful coach in PBA history with 17 championships, Cone now has a shot at becoming the first coach to win more than one grand slam behind a team that got even better this season with the acquisition of rookies Ian Sangalang and Justin Melton.

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    "They have the deepest roster," Reyes said.

    San Mig now stands four wins away from that season sweep, thanks to a 93-85 win over Talk 'N Text on Saturday night that gave the Mixers a 2-0 lead in their semifinal series - and all the more bolstered Reyes' belief that this team is bound for a grand slam.

    "I think this is the championship right here," said Reyes of the San Mig-Talk 'N Text series.

    Asked to expound, Reyes continued: "I'm sure Alaska and Rain or Shine have something to say about that. But I feel this (Talk 'N Text series) is the biggest obstacle (to San Mig's grand slam bid)."

    On why San Mig appears to be overcoming the Talk 'N Text hurdle with seeming ease, Reyes said it is a testament to Cone's success in having stars like James Yap and Marc Pingris playing roles and sticking to the system.

    "Again, sports is all about putting the right team together," said Reyes, now one of the most sought-after motivational speakers in the country. "When you have that, the right team will win."

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    Gilas coach Chot Reyes expects Tim Cone to have a second grand slam tucked under his belt before the season is over. Jerome Ascano
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