WHILE he may have learned a lot from all the coaches he played for, Aris Dimaunahan bared he learned the most from Tim Cone.
And so the rookie mentor didn’t forget to credit Cone after beating his idol in Blackwater's thrilling 108-107 overtime win over defending PBA Commissioner’s Cup champion Barangay Ginebra on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Hats off to coach Tim. He’s my idol, I played for him. I respect him and I respect his way of coaching,” said Dimaunahan of the winningest coach in the 44-year history of the league.
Dimaunahan played under Cone as a practice player during the American coach’s early days with B-Meg (Purefoods franchise).
Knowing he’s already in the twilight of his playing career then, the point guard out of University of Santo Tomas asked Cone for some pointers about coaching.
“Gusto ko talaga maging coach kaya I observed coach Tim while I was with B-Meg, kung paano siya mag-prepare for a game, kung paano siya mag-handle ng particular situation, kung paano siya mag-handle ng players,” recalled Dimaunahan.
As a student, Dimaunahan soaked up everything he could.
“Lahat ng natututunan ko sa kanya in a day, sinusulat ko lahat sa notebook. And that was a lot of help,” said Dimaunahan, who recalled looking forward to being with Cone and the team everyday even as a practice player.
But his association with the franchise didn’t last long as shortly after, B-Meg assigned him to San Miguel Beer's ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) team built around a promising rookie by the name of June Mar Fajardo.
Dimaunahan never got to work with Cone again.
The Blackwater coach, however, said he is forever indebted to Cone for lending him his coaching wisdom.
“I learned a lot from him,” said Dimaunahan.