SAN Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone is not in a hurry to break in the team’s four rookies with almost just a week left before the new season of the PBA formally kicks off.
Along with deputy Johnny Abarrientos, Cone is taking his time to teach the basics of the Mixers’ trademark triangle offense to new acquisitions Ian Sangalang, Isaac Holstein, Justin Melton, and JR Cawaling (30th).
And so far, Cone is impressed with the way the four freshmen are picking up the basic points of the team’s system.
“We’re not worried about looking at their (four rookies) skills. We know what they can do. It’s just a matter of giving them some basic understanding on the triangle so that when the regular players show up on Monday, they won’t be disruptive,” Cone told Spin.ph.
Of the four, only Holstein was acquired by the Mixers via the trade deal. The team dealt 10th pick Justine Chua and veteran small forward Leo Najorda to Globalport in exchange for the 6-foot-7 Holstein on Tuesday.
Cone is aware expectations are high on his rookie players especially Sangalang, a one-time NCAA Most Valuable Player selected No. 2 overall.
But the multi-titled mentor isn’t putting any pressure on his rookies to made an immediate impact in the season-opening Philippine Cup.
“We got an intact team so if our rookies are not ready after a week (of practice), it will just be fine. We’ll try to bring them along,” added Cone, fresh from steering the Mixers to the Governors Cup championship.
Cone believes intact teams, particularly defending All-Filipino champion Talk ‘N Text and Petron, have the edge this conference due to minor changes they had in their respective rosters.
“Teams that got to be intact are the teams with the biggest advantage this season and I think, Talk ‘N Text and Petron didn’t make many changes. So they will have a really good start and will have the edge,” he said.