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    Jolas proud to beat Cone, Brownlee: 'They own the Governors' Cup'

    Jolas proud to beat former coach Cone, Brownlee in finals
    Apr 22, 2023
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    IT was the student beating his mentor in the coaching match-up in the 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup finals with Jojo Lastimosa leading TNT to its first-ever crown in the third conference of the league.

    Lastimosa did the achievement at the expense of the coach with whom he had success as a player. Under Tim Cone, Lastimosa won nine of his 10 championships with Alaska. Lastimosa also derailed Cone’s bid to win a 26th PBA title.

    See TNT holds nerve in Game 6 to dethrone Ginebra as Governors' Cup champ

    Even more impressive was the fact that Lastimosa took over at the start of the conference when TNT saw the need for Chot Reyes to slide a position of senior consultant to concentrate on his job as Gilas Pilipinas head coach.

    Lastimosa said he cherishes the achievement since TNT also had to beat Justin Brownlee, who was a perfect 6-0 in finals until this conference.


    “I’m greatly honored,” said Lastimosa. “It seldom that you beat Justin Brownlee and Tim Cone in this conference. They own the Governors’ Cup. If there’s something who can dethrone them, they must have done something really nice. And I think this is the first time that Justin lost the finals.”

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    Lastimosa said the pregame pep talk was centered around his belief that if there is a team that can beat Cone, Brownlee, and the rest of Barangay Ginebra, it was this TNT squad.

    “Ginebra hasn’t lost two in a row this conference, much less three in a row. ‘Yun ang pinag-usapan namin before the game. That was my pregame talk. If there’s somebody who can beat them, it’s the team that I’m with right now.”

    “It was not an easy task. A lot of teams tried to beat Tim and Brownlee at this stage. They never did,” said Lastimosa.


      Lastimosa gave the credit to his players led by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Mikey Williams for leading the team to victory.

      “Maybe we got a little break when (Brownlee) got food poisoning last game. Even now, you can see that even when Justin played, down the stretch, he was really dehydrated. Hat off to Justin for warrioring it up towards the end. But Rondae had so much fight in him. Grabe si Rondae. He would not lose that game. Kahit maputulan siya ng paa, he wouldn’t want to lose that game,” said Lastimosa.


      There's also one person Lastimosa knows will be very happy with TNT’s victory.

      “Sean Chambers will be happy,” said Lastimosa, referring to his former Alaska teammate Sean Chambers, who remains tied with Brownlee for the import with the most number of PBA titles with six.

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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