FOR someone as vocal as Tim Cone, it was strange not hearing a few words from the man who has accomplished the most in the 40-year history of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
Cone refused to say a thing or two on Sunday night after the curtains fell on the Star Hotshots' season following their Governors Cup semifinal sweep at the hands of the Alaska Aces.
The American coach was the first to leave the gloomy dugout of the deposed champion, whose 82-77 setback in Game Three of the best-of-five series officials ended the franchise reign as Grand Slam champion.
“No, I’m not OK,” said Cone when politely asked if he’ll be kind enough to spare some minutes as he hurriedly walked to the parking lot of the Smart Araneta Coliseum together with his son.
That Cone feels that way was understandable.
The semis sweep was the first time for him since the 2010 Philippine Cup Final Four when Alaska, of which he was still the coach back then, went winless in four games against Purefoods.
Likewise, the swift end to the Hotshots’ campaign in the season-ending conference was unexpected especially since the franchise made the Finals of the last three editions of the Governors Cup.
Ironically, following a season sweep last year, the Hotshots failed to make the Finals of any of the three conferences this season
Import Marcus Blakely perhaps best summed up what Cone and the rest of the team were feeling at the moment.
“That’s something between us, I guess, as a team,” said Blakely, when asked what Cone told the team shortly after the game. “Nothing harsh, but in reality, it hurts. It’s a lonely time right now.”