BARANGAY Ginebra coach Tim Cone said he is willing to go through another bubble if that is what it takes for the 2021 PBA season to push through.
Cone said he is eager to get back to work after preparations for the coming season were postponed after Metro Manila and neighboring provinces were placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) early this month.
The classification was downgraded to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) until the end of April, but practices will still be prohibited until quarantine protocols return to GCQ or MGCQ.
“The bottom line is for all of us in the PBA, for me especially, I just think that we want to get back to work and start playing again,” said Cone on Saturday during an interview with The Chasedown. “That’s our passion and that’s our love. This is terrible, sitting at home and not meeting with the guys and go play.”
“The last bubble was difficult, no doubt about it. It was mentally wearing. Hate being away from the family. But we have to do whatever it takes to get back to playing. As difficult as it might be, we certainly welcome the chance of getting back to the bubble.”
“Whether it’s financially feasible for the PBA to do that again, I don’t know. I’m not privy to that. I’m not in the board. From what I heard, it was really a difficult project to put together. I think the coaches, players, I think, they’ll welcome going back to the bubble if that’s the only recourse we have to start playing again,” he added.
Cone was inside the bubble for 73 days when Barangay Ginebra captured the Philippine Cup crown against TNT in Clark. Last year’s bubble saw teams being housed in one hotel and playing games everyday during the elimination round.
Cone thinks that because of the experience in the first bubble, the league will be able to efficiently hold another similar scenario.
“I think the hardest part of the bubble was there was nothing you can control. You couldn’t decide how long you practice. You don’t always see the players when you want to see them. You can’t get your players to relax after a bad loss. It’s hard to be with them to get them properly motivated. There are things you can’t control. And that was such a new experience.
“All of us coaches would be better at handling the bubble this time around. Everything you do that second, third, fourth time around, you would be better at handling the bubble. I assume that the bubble will be more efficient this time.”
The two-time grand slam coach, however, said he sees the bubble as a last resort mainly because of the financial constraints.
“If you noticed, the NBA didn’t want to get into a bubble. They took the risk and play with having cancellations, and infections, and stuff. They took the risk of doing that rather than to do the bubble.
"I know that the opportunity is there but I know that it’s really, truly a last resort for the PBA only because it’s a huge, huge undertaking,” said Cone.