MANILA, Philippines – "Retro Night" proved to be a triumphant one for Barangay Ginebra as the Gin Kings hacked out a 90-89 win over the Meralco Bolts on the same night that they honored their 1991 team with throwback jerseys.
Wearing the classic red and white threads of the 1991 Ginebra team that became the first PBA squad to overhaul a 1-3 series deficit, the Gin Kings escaped a last-minute Meralco rally to improve to 8-2 in the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup and inch closer to the No. 1 seed.
"We didn't play absolutely fantastic, but I thought we had a little bit of 'never say die' tonight," Cone said after the game. "So I'm hoping that we honor the '91 team, and all the teams before us every night when we go out and put our jerseys on."
For Cone, the retro jersey was a "fun" way to honor the achievement of the 1991 Ginebra team led by Robert Jaworski, which stunned Formula Shell in a seven-game series.
The multi-titled coach knows that there are also "marketing possibilities" regarding the jerseys, but he also stressed that the retro threads is a fantastic way for younger PBA fans to learn more about the history of the game.
"It's important for the fans to remember the history of the league, and remember those that came before us," Cone said. "And by wearing an older jersey, the retro jersey, the young kids will ask – What was that all about?"
"And they hear about Jaworski and all those guys. It's always great when we recognize the people before us, and that's why I like these ideas, these retro jerseys," he added.
Cone said Ginebra is planning to wear throwback jerseys at least once more, though they are still deciding when to break them out.
The Ginebra coach is not the only one who enjoyed retro night. Import Justin Brownlee was also a fan of the jerseys, although his own uniform contained a typo as his last name was spelled "Brown Lee."
"I didn't even notice that," he said. "A lot of people make that mistake with my name, so I'm used to it."
The throwback jersey, Brownlee said, was "unbelievable."
"I hope I could get my hands on mind. It's a great looking jersey," he said.
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