Ginebra's Cone proud of his years with Alaska

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 16 2022 09:54 PM

Former Alaska coach Tim Cone. PBA Media Bureau
Former Alaska coach Tim Cone. PBA Media Bureau

Like most PBA fans, Ginebra coach Tim Cone was saddened to hear that Alaska, the team he used to coach, is saying goodbye to the PBA.

It was with Alaska where Cone started his PBA coaching career, steering the Aces to the coveted PBA Grand Slam in 1996.

"I'm saddened by the news of Alaska’s exit from the PBA, but looking back, I’m extremely proud of my time (23 years) with Alaska where I made many life-time friends amongst the players and staff," said the league's winningest coach.

Under Cone's watch, Alaska won 14 PBA titles. The coach said he could not have done it without team owner Fred Uytengsu.

"My coaching career grew up under the stewardship and friendship of Mr. Uytengsu, and I’m grateful for his mentoring. I am who I am as a coach and as a person because of that," he said. 

"Needless to say, it’s an end of an era. Alaska and those that led it will be sorely missed. It was a proud franchise with great successes and I was fortunate to be a part of its legacy and culture. Going forward now without Alaska in the league will seem unnatural and I believe it will mark a time of great transition for the PBA."

Other PBA personalities also gave tributes to the fabled PBA team.

Big man Nic Belasco said he shared good memories with the team.

"I was saddened this morning to hear the news of Alaska pulling out of the PBA. I’ve been reflecting all day on the 5 years I spent with Alaska, full of great memories and 2 championship rings. Boss Fred set the bar high for running a classy franchise. It’s the end of an era!" he said in his tweet.

Current Ginebra deputy coach Richard Del Rosario said Alaska is known for its values, especially professionalism.

"Professionalism. Integrity. Discipline. These values are sacred when you play for @wsuytengsu and the @alaska_aces. I’m sad to see this proud franchise bid farewell to the PBA but as the old saying goes, the memories will stay forever," he said in his social media post.

Retired Aces big man Sonny Thoss posted a short and sweet note in his Instagram story.

“Wala pa rin tatalo sa suporta," he said.

Former PBA Commissioner Noli Eala and commentator Sev Sarmenta also posted a message of salute for Alaska.

"Much respect to Alaska. A class organization. The Aces will be a big loss to the PBA," said Eala.

"Saddened by the announcement that Alaska will end its stint in the PBA. We started in the same year 1986. Salute to a great franchise!" said Sarmenta.