Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Tim Cone as Team Consultant of B-meg
“But as we all know, in the PBA, nothing is final unless you have already signed a contract. Yes, (Coach) Tim is retiring from Alaska because he is closely being considered as team consultant of B-Meg. But we can’t openly announce it until he formally signs the contract.”
Sources said Cone wants to be released because he has been dissatisfied with the state of basketball affairs in the Alaska franchise, in particular, the lack of efforts on the part of management to strengthen the lineup in the midst of the continued buildup of the other PBA teams.
Alaska will hold a press conference Thursday either to confirm the rumors or state that Cone will stay on as coach.
But the rumors were so powerful, it reververated in Hong Kong where the PBA board of governors was meeting and prompting the immediate order for Alaska team manager Joaqui Trillo to return to Manila.
“The main reason why coach Tim wants to leave the team is that some of his key players like Joe (Devance) had been traded, and few years from now his marquee players may follow,” said a source who requested not to be identified.
“Knowing coach Tim, he wants to have a competitive line-up,” the same source said.
Point guard LA Tenorio, shooting guard Cyrus Baguio and center Sonny Thoss were reported to have become agitated following the departure of Devance and were rumored to be asking to be traded.
The source added that while teams like newly-crowned Governors’ Cup champion Petron Blaze, Barangay Ginebra B-Meg of San Miguel Corp. (SMC), as well as Talk ’N Text and Meralco of Manny V. Pangilinan have been able to strengthen their rosters through trades, Alaska has not done anything similar.
“Imagine that SMC and Pangilinan’s teams can’t make trades straight up, there has to be a third party. But they are finding ways to solidify their teams,” said the source.
Should Cone depart, that would signal the end of one of the longest owner-coach relationships in the PBA, a relationship that dates back over two decades.
“They are very good friends,” said Trillo who confessd that he had no idea what will happen next.
Team owner Fred Uytengsu Jr. will hold a press conference Thursday where it was gathered he will make an important announcement.
Cone still has a live contract, and it will expire at the end of 2013 Season.
“I think he asked for his release,” said a source Wednesday who asked not to be named since he’s not authorized to discuss the sensitive issue. “But what we know, as far as management is concerned, he’s still has two years.”
The Bulletin tried to contact Cone but calls and even text messages were not answered.
However, Trillo confirmed that Cone will attend the press conference.
“Who knows?” he said. “Even the new coach might be there.”
The last time Cone met his coaching staff and Trillo was during last Sunday’s PBA Rookie Draft, where the Aces selected Smart-Gilas standout Mac Baracael with the No. 6 overall pick, while adding Eric Salamat, Julius Paculado and Ariel Mepana in the second round.
The rookies are expected to join the team’s practice session Wednesday afternoon at the Reyes Gym in Manduyong.
According to sources, Cone and Uytengsu met recently, and the former has asked for his release from the team he guided to 13 PBA championships, the last of which was during the 2010 Fiesta Cup against San Miguel Beer.