Tim Cone: End of an era?

The internet is playing a nasty trick on me.

I know that it ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings but there has been a bunch of words thrown out that long-time Alaska Aces coach Tim Cone is contemplating retirement. Cone has been the coach of this team ever since the Uytengsu franchise fired Bogs Adornado.

Oh wait. Did you know Fred Uytengsu coached a game for the “Alaska Air Force” in 1989 and Alaska won?

Anyway, Cone had a bet with Uytengsu that he can coach Alaska en route to a championship and the rest was history. Cone was the only Alaska coach to lead the team to titles – with a feather in his cap being the 1996 Grand Slam. If not for Alaska’s commitment to lead the Centennial Dream Team in 1998, Alaska would have won their second grand slam. Tim Cone was the coach of the squad while Johnny Abarrientos, Jojo Lastimosa, and Kenneth Duremdes were also loaned. Bong Hawkins was also part of the team but was just in the reserve list because he sustained an injury.

Earl Timothy Cone is synonymous to Alaska. The kid in their actual Alaska Milk resembles the mentor. He is the league’s longest tenured coach at 22 years which is nine years longer than Baby Dalupan’s record. Because of him guys like Jeffrey Cariaso, Edward Juinio, Dickie Bachmann, Jun Reyes, Rhoel Gomez, Cris Bolado, and Merwin Castelo are revered as winners. As time went, he fashioned out the careers of players like Mike Cortez, John Arigo, Ali Peek, Don Allado, Joe Devance, Willie Miller, Cyrus Baguio, LA Tenorio, and Sonny Thoss.  

But now that’s about to change.

Cone leaving the squad is an end of an era for the Alaska fans. But change is inevitable apparently. As the current season hatches, only Talk N Text’s Chot Reyes, Petron’s Ato Agustin, Rain or Shine’s Yeng Guiao, Powerade’s Bo Perasol, and Meralco’s Ryan Gregorio will return from their head coaching chores if Cone wouldn’t. B-Meg has replaced Jorge Gallent with Richard Del Rosario, Shopinas has signed Franz Pumaren to a three-year deal, Siot Tanquingcen has assumed head coaching chores from Jong Uichico, and Bong Ramos has taken a backseat in the Air21/Barako Bull camp for former Barako Bull coach Junel Baculi. As far as the heir to the throne goes, Joel Banal is an ardent follower of the triangle offense that Cone loves to use. And then there’s former DLSU guard Luigi Trillo. And if they want a future Hall of Famer, they can always go with Bong Hawkins or Jojo Lastimosa. Of course, there is still Alaska’s long-time assistant coach Dickie Bachmann.  

The only thing that sucks in this rumor is that apparently, Cone will retire from the Aces to resurface with a random San Miguel Corporation squad – most likely the B-Meg Llamados. I heard a bunch of things online that Cone will be tapped as consultant for B-Meg and if the Richard Del Rosario fails, he will take over the ruins in the following conference. This rumor sucks. I can see this as Cone retiring in style a la Ric Flair but all of a sudden ruining his glorious goodbye with a pulled stunt that would look as if the retirement he had was a ruse just like Ric Flair did when he joined TNA. It could have been cool for Cone to go to the announcer’s booth for a couple of seasons before returning to coaching.

Tim Cone is synonymous to Alaska as Robert Jaworski is synonymous with Ginebra. Seeing Tim Cone in another team all of a sudden is almost unreal. 

Maybe he just needs to do some sort of Iron Man event, or softball, or even football for all we know!  

In any case, the best news to come in this rumor is that Tim Cone will re-sign with Alaska to get his triangle offense arsenal in the works to make mince meat out of some poor random squad.

Game over.


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