SAN Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria believes Tim Cone won’t take long in bringing Barangay Ginebra back to its glory days, given the sufficient time the PBA’s most successful coach has to reacquiant the Gin Kings to the triangle offense.
Cone has officially taken over the Gin Kings, more than two months before the new season opens in October.
The time is more than what former coach Jeffrey Cariaso had when he took over Ginebra before the start of the 2014 Governors Cup. He failed to steer the team past the quarterfinals of both the season-ending conference and the Philippine Cup last season.
“At that time, middle of the season siya (Cariaso) pumasok eh. This time, offseason ito eh, so enough time to correct and to adjust to the system of Coach Tim,” Austria said.
The SMB coach knows a thing or two about transitions, having handled the Beermen in last year’s offseason then immediately steered the powerhouse squad to a title in the all-Filipino conference.
“Dahil nagkaroon ako ng time, two months to prepare,” Austria said. “If you have the talent, it’s easy to develop them into a very competitive team.”
But Cone must also hit the ground running, Austria was quick to add.
“I think everybody naman pagka respetado yung coach, whether wrong or right yung gagawin niya, gagawin ng player yan (triangle) eh,” the soft-spoken coach said. “Pagka nakita mong ganun, that means 'yung respeto ng players nasa iyo. And once they respect you, you can do a lot of things sa team.”
Once they have that, it hardly matters what offense the Gin Kings, led by towering Greg Slaughter, run, Austria believes.
“Once your team is very organized, whether your system is triangle or pressing team or whatever yan, (you can be competitive) as long as you’re playing as a team.”
“What more if your team is Ginebra and nasa iyo yung pinakamatangkad na player and nasa iyo yung pinakamaraming fans na nagiging sixth man nung kanilang team every game?,” he added.