San Mig Coffee head coach Tim Cone. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – San Mig head coach Tim Cone has now won more PBA championships than the legendary Virgilio “Baby” Dalupan, but Cone insists “The Maestro” remains the greatest coach in the history of Philippine basketball.
“I said this the last time – no one will ever equal Baby, and I said that no one will ever surpass Baby as the greatest coach that has ever coached in this league,” Cone told reporters after the game. “I think he is one of the world’s greatest.”
“(He won) 41 championships in his career, in the NCAA, MICAA and the PBA. It’s just an amazing statistic and a great tribute to him,” he added.
Cone won his 16th PBA title Wednesday night after the Mixers defeated the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 93-87, to seal the Philippine Cup in six games.
Dalupan won 15 PBA titles in 16 years of coaching in the PBA.
But for Cone, just to be mentioned in the same breath as Dalupan is already a tremendous honor.
“To me, the most thrilling part of all of this is that I’m able to bring Baby Dalupan’s name back into the consciousness of PBA fans, especially the young ones,” said Cone.
“I’m thrilled to be a part of it and be a part of his legacy now,” he added.
Cone also paid tribute to the late PBA coach Ely Capacio, who died last Sunday due to an aneurysm.
“I wish Ely Capacio was here to see this. After the game, I can’t help but think that we would be going over to have dinner with the big bosses, and he would be the first one to stand up and greet me, and give me a big hug and tell me, ‘I told you so,’” said Cone.
“He’s one of my greatest supporters at San Mig, and I love him to death. I wish he’d been here to see this. I know he’d have been thrilled,” he said.