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Sports

Chasing Legacy: Cone still reveres Dalupan as best coach

Alder Almo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Never in Tim Cone’s wildest dreams that he would tie his coaching idol Virgilio “Baby” Dalupan as the winningest coach in the PBA history.

Cone was a young up-and-coming PBA coach when Dalupan won his last PBA championship.

“Back then, if I thought that I could ever match his 15 championships, I wouldn’t even think that I’ll be around that long. It’s really about longevity. If you’re around 23, 24 years, you have to win some championships,” Cone told Philstar.com after capturing his 15th PBA title matching Dalupan’s feat.

Cone lost his first PBA Finals to Dalupan and ironically Purefoods, the same franchise that he’s now given two championships since parting ways with Alaska.  

It was in the 1990 PBA Third Conference when Cone learned his first lesson from the coaching legend.

“My first finals was against him and he won his last championship against me. We were up, 2-0, in a best-of-five and he swept me in the last three games,” recalled Cone, who will turn 56 in December.

The experience helped him later win 13 PBA titles with Alaska before his transfer to San Mig Coffee.

Dalupan held the record for 24 years winning eight titles with Crispa, six with Great Taste and the last one with Purefoods.

Last season, Cone had his first shot of finally matching Dalupan’s record but got denied by Rain or Shine.

But not this time around thanks to the heroics of his players led by Marc Pingris, who stood tallest with 19 points, 17 rebounds and five blocks.

“I’m just glad and humbled that I’m capable to mention my name alongside his,” Cone said.

“I hope I have few more years left and few more championships to win,” said Cone, who is now setting his sights to break the record and become the league’s winningest coach.

“I don’t think that will detract Baby Dalupan’s legacy. I mean he’s won championships in the MICAA before he came to the PBA so he really and truly is the best coach,” said Cone showing much respect to the legendary coach.

Dalupan collected those 15 PBA titles from 1975 to 1990 and Cone has few more years left to try to break that record.

BABY DALUPAN

CONE

DALUPAN

GREAT TASTE

MARC PINGRIS

PBA

PUREFOODS

SAN MIG COFFEE

THIRD CONFERENCE

TIM CONE

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