Cone on Hotshots: 'The farther they get from grand slam, the more motivated they'll be'
Former Star coach Tim Cone expects the Hotshots' energy to shoot up after a title-less 2015 campaign. Jerome Ascano

TIM Cone believes his departure from Star will somehow benefit the Hotshots.

The PBA’s most successful coach who officially moved to Barangay Ginebra on Thursday, blamed himself for the Hotshots’ grand slam hangover in the recently concluded season that saw them fail to defend all three championships from their historic run.

“There’s no doubt we played with a lack of energy this past year and the primary person to point the finger at is me, not the players,” Cone said on Thursday when he was introduced as the new coach of the league’s most popular team.

The Hotshots lost to twice-to-beat Meralco in the quarterfinals of the Philippine Cup, surrendered to eventual champion Talk ‘N Text in four games in a best-of-five semifinals in the Commissioner’s Cup, before Alaska swept them in a race-to-three Final Four in the Governors’ Cup.

“I feel the farther they get away from the grand slam, the more motivated they’re going to get and the energy is going to come back,” Cone said.

Former assistant and now new Star coach Jason Webb defended Cone, saying the American mentor prepared the Hotshots to the best of his ability given the tricky situation.

“We weren’t able to defend our crowns last year, but it doesn’t mean coach Tim didn’t do the best possible job coming off a grand slam,” Webb said.

But the rookie coach feels the fresh start will reinvigorate the Hotshots.

“Now, the landscape’s going to be different,” the son of former PBA player Freddie Webb said. “We’re going to be a year removed from the grand slam and we’re going to be coming into this year with a different coaching staff.”

“The only thing I can assure is I’m going to try to be the best possible coach for the current scenario,” he added. 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos