San Mig Super Coffee Mixers coach Tim Cone and his players are still in Cloud 9 after winning the near-mythical Philippine Basketball Association Grand Slam last achieved 18 years ago
”It’s unbelievable. I’m just overwhelmed,” said San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone. ”I want to look back at all these and see how we got here and how we got to this point.”
Cone thus became the only coach in league history to achieve two Grand Slams. And he did it with two different teams: San Mig and Alaska way back in 1996.
Cone thus hiked his championships to 18 PBA titles, which is the same number of crowns as the San Miguel Beermen. But the veteran PBA coach was quick to credit his players for the achievement.
”It’s not me, it’s all about the players. It’s all about everyone’s part in this team. The character of the players is just amazing. That’s the reason why we got this Grand Slam. It’s such a joy to see these players celebrating with each other because they deserve it,” said Cone.
The veteran mentor won his fifth title in just three seasons with the Coffee Mixers. In all the franchise has won 13 PBA championships and placed it in a tie with Crispa for third all-time in the league list of most crowns.
San Mig Coffee’s version of a Big 3 in James Yap, Peter June Simon and Marc Pingris conceded that winning the PBA Grand Slam cements their legacy in league history.
”Grabe, Grand Slam. Talagang pinaghirapan namin ito and ito na talaga yung pinakamasayang moment ko dito sa PBA. Magaling talaga si Coach Tim (Cone),” said Yap who annexed the Finals Most Valuable Player award.
It was the second Finals MVP award for Yap who also earned the award last conference when he also led the Super Mixers to the championship. Yap scored a game-high 29 points to power the Super Mixers to a 92-89 victory in Game 5 over Rain Or Shine.
Curiously, Yap was not even one of the Top 5 candidates for Most Valuable Player of the year which was won by San Miguel Beer big man June Mar Fajardo.
”Masasabi kong ito na talaga yung pinaka-highlight ng careers namin. Itong Grand Slam talaga ang maglalagay sa amin sa history,” said Simon in appreciation of the team’s achievement.
”Napakalaking accomplishment ito para sa aming tatlo nila James and Peter since kami yung magkakasabay na pumasok dito. Masayang masaya kami na nakakuha na rin kami ng Grand Slam,” said Pingris.
The other teams who have won the PBA Grand Slam are Crispa (twice) and San Miguel Beer in 1989.
The Super Coffee Mixers are indeed in Cloud 9 after becoming only the fourth team in league history to capture a Grand Slam. As icing on the cake San Mig won the title in front of 23,234 screaming fans at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.