Jojo Lastimosa was nonetheless having fun with his lunch earlier than the pre-Finals press convention of the PBA Governors’ Cup acquired underway on Monday when an influential determine from his previous walked by to say hiya.
“That’s a well-recognized voice,” stated Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone, poking enjoyable at his TNT counterpart’s behavior of speaking with meals on his mouth earlier than shaking fingers with him inside Novotel Manila in Cubao, Quezon Metropolis.
Lastimosa responded with a hearty snicker, exhibiting the extent of consolation the 2 had in-built all these years after they have been amassing a number of championships for Alaska and turning the franchise into one of many league’s iconic groups within the Nineteen Nineties.
“We see one another in Tali Seashore (in Nasugbu, Batangas),” Cone later stated after the occasion, prompting Lastimosa to as soon as once more snicker as loud on the inside joke.
“He lives within the North (of Metro Manila), I stay within the South, so it’s not like we join on a regular basis. However once we do, there’s a stage of comfortability that you can be away for a very long time, and once we see one another, it’s like getting proper again at it once more,” he added.
This time, Cone and Lastimosa should chase the championship as opponents, with Ginebra looking for a 3rd successive title within the season-ending convention and TNT seeking to play social gathering poopers within the collection that begins on Easter Sunday.
The mentor-against-student angle is among the many subplots of a collection that might go both manner, with TNT topping the eliminations and Ginebra again for an additional crack at glory.
“It’s like coming dwelling,” stated Lastimosa. “I’m at all times comfy round Tim and there’s no animosity between the 2 of us. I’m simply so excited to be on the identical court docket with Tim, and I’ve a lot respect for him as a result of he has accomplished a lot for the sport.”
“I’m simply right here to study, and because the collection goes on, I do know he’s a genius at that. So we are going to see the way it goes,” he added.
Lastimosa, tasked to deal with the TNT position with coach Chot Reyes opting to place most of his concentrate on the Gilas Pilipinas program for the Fiba (Worldwide Basketball Federation) World Cup, steered TNT to 10 wins in 11 elimination spherical video games earlier than shepherding the Tropang Giga to playoff victories over Phoenix and Meralco.
Considered one of TNT’s wins main up so far was at Ginebra’s expense, the place the Tropang Giga erased a double-digit deficit to place collectively a 114-105 win final March 17 at PhilSports Area in Pasig Metropolis.
Cone and the Gin Kings will hope to make an enormous response throughout the collection and hold their dominant reign within the season-ending convention intact.
“Each win, if we do, is gonna be bittersweet,” Cone stated. “However we each acquired jobs to do, and we’re gonna do it to the most effective of our talents. There’s gonna be respect, I believe, on either side of the ground, however there’s gonna be intense, intense competitors.
“His group is actually hungry for a win, and we all know that; we perceive that [because] they performed like that each one convention lengthy. And there’s little doubt that there’s [also] a number of starvation in our workforce.
“I believe when you style it, you need extra of it. Our guys are able to go, and I’m 100% certain their guys are able to go, too,” added Cone.
Lastimosa believes there might be few surprises as soon as TNT and Ginebra sq. off for the crown.
“Even earlier than I used to be right here, we had conversations with Tim concerning the system. Generally he takes out the Triangle [Offense], generally he takes it again in, generally he tweaks it,” Lastimosa stated. “So for me, there’s no secret right here.”
That’s except Cone brings out one thing that Lastimosa hasn’t seen earlier than. INQ
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