MANILA, Philippines -- Barangay Ginebra's Tim Cone is almost certainly going to become one of the coaches for the PBA's All-Star teams when the festivities are held next month in Passi City, Iloilo.
After the second batch of ballots were counted, Cone has now amassed 224,430, with Rain or Shine's Yeng Guiao second with 208,429.
Cone earlier said that it was "truly honoring and humbling" to lead the voting for coaches, though he also chalked it up to their most recent championship run in the 2022-23 PBA Commissioner's Cup.
"Anytime you win a championship, you're the coach of the moment. So I'm the coach of the moment," said Cone, who now has 25 PBA championships. "And of course, I am coaching the most popular team in the league, so that really helps a lot."
Cone recalled that in his early years as a coach, it used to be Sonny Jaworski who would emerge as the leading vote-getter.
"Sonny Jaworski would like, kill everybody. He'd have like, 100,000 votes, and the next guy would have like 10," said Cone. "We were all fighting for second place."
"So it's really gratifying to be kind of following in the footsteps in Sonny, coaching the most popular team," he added.
Cone will most likely be up against Guiao in the All-Star Game, which takes place on March 12. Already, the multi-titled mentor is looking forward to the challenge.
"He's always there. He's been that guy that I have battled. He joined the league, I think, two or three years after I did. So he's been in the league for 30 years also," said Cone.
"Norman [Black] and Yeng and myself, we've been around a long time. There's a reason that Yeng's been around for a long time, and there's a reason why Norman's been around for a long time. Their teams perform, everywhere they go," he added.
Fans can vote online and on-site until February 15. The All-Star weekend is set from March 9-12.
The PBA announced on Wednesday that Ginebra's Japeth Aguilar is now the leading vote-getter among players, followed by teammate Scottie Thompson and San Miguel's June Mar Fajardo.