AS one of only a few persons who had the good fortune of working with the two all-time winningest coaches in the PBA, Alvin Patrimonio can’t help but compare Tim Cone and the legendary Virgilio 'Baby’ Dalupan.
Patrimonio pondered the thought after Cone steered San Mig Coffee to the PBA Governors' Cup title at the expense of Petron, giving the American mentor his 15th crown overall to tie Dalupan as the coach with the most number of championships in Asia’s very first professional league.
One of only two players to win the MVP award four times, Patrimonio is the current team manager of the Mixers when Cone tied Dalupan’s record.
They Said It!
“Coach Baby is more situational and magaling sa match-up. Coach Tim is really concentrated sa Triangle." - Alvin Patrimonio, San Mig Coffee Mixers team manager who played for legendary coach Baby Dalupan with Purefoods in the '90s
And he also happened to be one of Dalupan’s top stars when the `Maestro’ did the trick 23 years ago after steering Purefoods to the Third Conference title, ironically against Cone and the Alaska Milkmen.
“Oo nga ano,” said a surprised Patrimonio when informed by Spin.ph about the separate roles he played in the career highlights of the two coaching greats.
“Actually, `yung motivation and preparations ang nakita kong similarities nila,” said the soft-spoken San Mig Coffee executive.
“I think coaching and motivation played a great part sa series namin against Petron. Nakita mo naman lumabas `yung laro ng mga players,” said the former PBA superstar, who incidentally, played for Cone with the RP Centennial Team during the 1998 Asian Games.
Dalupan did the same thing with Patrimonio and the Hotdogs when he rallied the team back from a 0-2 deficit in the Finals against the Milkmen by sweeping the last three games of the best-of-five series.
“Natandaan ko `yun. We were down already. But it was coach Baby who motivated us to win,” recalled Patrimonio. “Tsaka that was the time na na-injured si Bong Alva (Achilles heel injury).”
As much as there is similarity between the two brilliant coaches, Patrimonio, 46, said Dalupan and Cone also have different styles that make them distinct from one another.
“Si coach Baby is more situational and magaling sa match-up,” said Patrimonio of his former coach who just turned 90.
“Si coach Tim naman is really concentrated sa Triangle (system) so disiplina talaga.”