Written in 2014.
Manila Clasico is always a treat.
It never fails to give note worthy stories that make rivalry deserving of attention.
Last night, we have seen Purefoods sport franchise’s classic logo; we have witnessed how grand slam team was outplayed; we have been impressed by killer 3-pointers of the Ninja; and we have been brought back to memory lane as classics Jerry Codinera and Rey Evangelista retire their jerseys.
But one other story stood out for me: Coach Jeff’s first win against Coach Tim.
However, to highlight the apprentice-beat-mentor slant would just be too passé.
As courtside since Coach Tim transferred to then BMeg Llamados, up to now as Coach Jeff heads Barangay Ginebra, to focus on one’s win over the other is simply objectifying.
Both go far back, and now, standing on the same plane professionally, the game is a story of wins for both brilliant leaders.
I remember an interview with Coach Jeff in 2011. He told about the phone call from his mentor overseas asking him to go back to the Philippines to be part of the coaching staff.
On a separate talk with Coach Tim after game he stepped out from during Commissioners in 2012, he emphasized how he left it in capable hands. He marked his deputy’s smarts and leadership very evident even during his playing days.
Clearly, the belief is there. And the same is reciprocated.
Coach Jeff’s statement during post game intrvw says, “it is always a challenge and always gonna be special if it is Coach Tim. Always.”
He added, “you’ve got to understand that he’s not gonna last this long just because it’s a fluke or just because he goes on by it daily. One thing I’ve learned about Coach Tim is adjustment. I’m sure they’re gonna be better after tonight’s game.”
Aside from apparent admiration and respect, it also reflects awareness and inspiration as newer coach trails on his own.
Point of it all, the beautiful story of Manila Clasico last night is not the win against the teacher. Rather, it is about student who has been taught well.
As the winningest coach, Coach Tim is unquestionably a master in his field. And as seasons go, to see the same promise in another because of his example, we are set to be part of a league that truly becomes richer–filled with winners defined more than just by numbers.
Coach Tim Cone is now the head coach for Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, and Coach Jeffrey Cariaso is now an Assistant Coach for the Alaska Aces.