FORMER Gilas Pilipinas head coach Rajko Toroman has some good news and bad news for Barangay Ginebra fans.
The good news: Toroman expects Ginebra to rejoin the PBA's elite teams like San Miguel Beer, Star, Rain or Shine and newly rebuilt Talk 'N Text now that Cone is calling the shots for the team.
The bad news? It will take time, he warned.
The veteran internationalist warned Ginebra fans should not raise their expectations in the coming season's first two conferences, saying Cone will need a long time to get his pet triangle offense humming in the league's most popular ballclub.
"I think two to three conferences he might struggle, the team might struggle," said Toroman, who is back in town as head coach of a Jordan team gearing up for the Fiba Asia Championship in Changsha, China next week.
"If you remember how he started with Purefoods (now Star Hotshots), first conference, he didn't go to finals and after that they started to dominate," said Toroman.
"But I think Ginebra can win a championship - atleast within the next two years," added the 60-year old Serbian mentor.
Toroman believes that after the Governors' Cup, Ginebra will already be at par with the top teams in the league, naming the Beermen, the Elasto Painters and the Tropang Texters in that exclusive system.
But to get there, Toroman said he won't be surprised if Cone tweaks his lineup to make it more 'triangle friendly.'
"He will put his system and that's very important. He is a very experienced coach, he is the most successful coach here. I think he will make some changes in the team during these two or three conferences, then he'll be more competitive," he said.
View interview with Rajko Toroman:
Toroman also expressed elation that his Jordanian national team will be the first ballclub that will play a competitive basketball against Cone's Ginebra on Thursday at the CCF Gym in Ortigas.
"I am very excited to meet Tim Cone because I always have a nice game, my team always plays good against him and I hope Ginebra will be on track under him," he said with a smile.
"We will try to help them with our game," said Toroman.
The injury-hit Jordan team is cramming in its Fiba Asia buildup, the reason Toroman was forced to set up tune-up games in Manila from Wednesday to Saturday against Blackwater, Ginebra, San Miguel and Barako Bull in that order.
The Jordanians beat Blackwater by three points on Wednesday.