PBA: Ginebra sets sights on 'big crown' of All-Filipino title

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 28 2022 04:25 PM

The Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings celebrate after winning the 2021 PBA Governors' Cup. PBA Images.
The Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings celebrate after winning the 2021 PBA Governors' Cup. PBA Images.

MANILA, Philippines -- Barangay Ginebra has dominated the PBA Governors' Cup for the past five seasons, but head coach Tim Cone doesn't see his team as a "dynasty" quite yet.

For the fourth time in the last five editions of the conference, the Gin Kings ruled the Governors' Cup after beating rivals Meralco in six games. It was their fifth title with resident import Justin Brownlee, and the 24th PBA championship for Cone.

"To me, dynasties are winning consecutive championships, not Governors' Cup, Governors' Cup, Governors' Cup. It's really winning multiple championships in a row," Cone said after their triumph over the Bolts in Game 6.

"So, I don't know," he added, pondering the question of their status as the newest dynasty in the league. 

This is a topic that Cone doesn't want his players to dwell on, the coach said. The Gin Kings have been very successful since he took over in October 2015, but for the league's winningest coach, he and his team always have their sights set on more.

"I hate to think that we think about those things," Cone said of the topic of dynasties. "We don't think about those things."

"We're just thinking about this next conference," he said.

The next conference is the Philippine Cup, tipped to start in June. It was the lone conference that evaded the Gin Kings during the early years of Cone's tenure; they had also won the 2018 Commissioner's Cup with Brownlee as their reinforcement.

But the All-Filipino Cup is generally considered the crown jewel of PBA conferences. The Gin Kings won it in 2020, but that happened in the bubble in Clark, Pampanga with no fans in attendance.

"I'd like to see Ginebra win the All-Filipino," Cone said. "We were able to win in the bubble and that was nice, the first bubble, we won the All-Filipino."

There is nothing quite like winning in front of the barangay, however. When Ginebra defeated Meralco, 103-92, in Game 6 last week, there were over 20,000 fans at the Mall of Asia Arena -- majority of them cheering for the Gin Kings. 

"We'd like to win the All-Filipino in front of our fans, that's for sure. That's the big crown, at this point," he said.

Of course, the import conferences are never far from their minds as well, and Cone is reasonably confident that they can sustain their success in the Commissioner's and Governors' Cups for as long as they have a healthy Brownlee in the fold.

"If we can continue to get Justin back and continue to keep him healthy, I don't see a reason why we can't continue to compete for championships," said Cone, who is also banking on getting Stanley Pringle back from injury, as well as the continuous improvement of Scottie Thompson.