TIM Cone and Ginebra are nothing new as far as playing in the PBA on Christmas Day is concerned.
And yet, there is still the prevalent feeling of getting out of focus owing to what Cone refers to as ‘too many distractions’ going on during the season.
“I don’t think it’s not just on Christmas day, I think it s through the Christmas season It’s just really hard there’s just too many distractions, so many things going on,” said Cone after conducting the Kings’ practice at Upper Deck Sports Center for their December 25 showdown with rival Star Hotshots at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
“You know, the kids are out of school, the wives are off to work, the relatives are calling, Christmas parties every night, and then suddenly, ‘Oh we have to go to practice tomorrow,’ and that’s difficult.”
The Christmas Day game will be Cone’s seventh in his 27-year as head coach, and second straight for the Kings. He currently owns a 2-4 record overall on this special day, and won last year’s match-up with the Hotshots on LA Tenorio’s clutch trey at the overtime buzzer, 92-89 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
But everything remains tough on him even after years of playing repeatedly.
“Christmas day especially is hard because you wake up, open gifts, and you’re happy. And then you have to make a trek all the way to Bocaue to play basketball,” he pointed out.
A matter of extra motivation perhaps could do wonders, according to Cone, who time and again, has always preached to the Kings that playing on Christmas day is a ‘blessing.’
“It depends on how you look at it and this is the way we w ant our guys to look at it as a tremendous blessing rather than a chore,” he said. “If you’re not careful, it could look like a chore because you look at everybody else enjoying their Christmas, while you’re going there (at the venue).
That Ginebra has also lost two of its last three outings could also trigger off the team’s urgency to win and ends the year with a bang.
“It would be great to reward our fans with our best effort and finish the year with a win,” said the only man in league history to win a total 19 championships.