ONE very familiar team awaits coach Tim Cone in his first trip with Barangay Ginebra to the PBA playoffs.
The Kings cemented a potentially explosive quarterfinal quarterfinal showdown with Star Hotshots in the PBA Philippine Cup after the league’s crowd darlings turned back Talk ‘N Text in the final playdate of the elimination round at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Ginebra finished in fourth place with a 7-4 record to forge the match-up against the No. 9 seeded Hotshots, the very same team Cone handled before flying the coop during the offseason when he left to handle the talent-laden but underachieving Kings.
The Kings hold a twice-to-beat edge against the Hotshots.
“Our reward for winning this game is now we’re gonna play Star which is really, really hard,” Cone began his post-game interview.
The most accomplished coach in league history with 18 titles to his name said he’s not going to be too emotional about meeting the franchise he steered to a grand slam two seasons ago and now being handled by one of his protégée in rookie coach Jason Webb.
“The one thing I always preached to them (players) and obviously to myself is to move on, whether it’s a victory, whether it’s a loss, or whether it’s a trade, you just have to move on and put the stuff behind you,” said Cone.
The veteran mentor expects the same thing for a veteran team like the Hotshots.
“They’re gonna do that especially coming into the playoffs,” he said, “I’m no longer there, they know that and we’re both going out there and try to win.”