BARANGAY Ginebra coach Tim Cone is giving the Gin Kings a number of weeks before the team begins preparing for the 2020 PBA season which starts on March 1.
Cone plans to reconvene the players in mid-February following their conquest of the PBA Governors’ Cup, giving them a well-deserved rest considering most of the players had also served the national team particularly in the Southeast Asian Games.
“The season has gone for more than a year. It’s like a 13-month season. Whoever heard of that? But I’m not sure that the fans realized how much wear and tear it is to the players. Plus Japeth (Aguilar) has been in the national team the whole season and they did the SEA Games. It’s been a taxing one,” said Cone.
When they come back, the Gin Kings will be eyeing to win the Philippine Cup for the first time in more than a decade. Cone emphasized right after their Governors’ Cup title victory against Meralco that they will be definitely eyeing the title considered as the most prestigious among the league's three conferences.
This early, however, Cone said he’s been getting the vibe that the players want to work immediately.
“Our guys are really excited to come back and go after the all-Filipino. It’s just that kind of reaction that I’ve seen. Usually, you don’t have that. Usually, they are just thinking about celebrating and really living in the past and enjoying the championship. But right now, the mindset is, ‘Let’s get back to work and go for the all-Filipino,’” said Cone.
Cone said he is against his players getting back to work immediately, citing Jared Dillinger who, after coming off his first-ever PBA crown with Ginebra, wanted to work on his game shortly after the championship.
“I told Jared, you have to sit down, stop working, and get fat,” said Cone. “Don’t be afraid to gain three, four, five pounds. We can get that off you. But he wanted to go in and meet with his shooting coach tomorrow. We just finished yesterday and you want to meet with your shooting coach and go out and get shots. I said, 'Jared you have to slow down.' And that’s the attitude of the guys.”
In the end, Cone said he wants his players to be ready for another long season.
“I have to protect them from themselves," said Cone. "Otherwise, they are going to wear themselves down."