Cone will handle a Ginebra team that has struggled over the years, with its lone Finals appearance in the Commissioner’s Cup in 2013 after the Kings won their last title in 2008 Fiesta Cup.
Since the popular team’s last championship appearance in 2013 under coach Alfrancis Chua, the squad made coaching changes as it tabbed ex-pros Ato Agustin, Jeff Cariaso and Frankie Lim as head coaches.
The team, however, failed to make it back to the finals.
With the 57-year-old Cone, the Kings will have somebody that is synonymous to success.
Cone owns the record for most PBA coaching titles with 18, highlighted with a pair of Grand Slam crowns – the league’s version of a triple crown – in 1996 with Alaska and 2014 with San Mig Super Coffee (now Star).
In a report by Spin.PH yesterday, Cone said that he is not aware of any coaching changes in the San Miguel Corporation (SMC) camp from where Ginebra, Star and San Miguel Beer belong.
However, Cone was quoted by the sports website: “I serve at the pleasure of the president, Mr. Ang, and I’ll follow whatever direction he chooses. It’s possible, but nothing has been said to me.”
Sources said that SMC boss Ramon S. Ang already had a decision regarding the coaching change with Ginebra and Star even before Cone left for the US to watch the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.
According to sources, Cone, who will replace Lim, will bring with him assistant coach Richard del Rosario. Taking the place of Cone for the Hotshots is Jason Webb, who will be elevated from being an assistant coach to head coach and will be assisted by Johnny Abarrientos.
Ginebra will be Cone’s third PBA squad. (Waylon Galvez)