Jun 24, 2020

Alaska success: More from Cone than anything, says Banal

Talk about triangle offense in the Philippines, and one would surely mention the name of coach Tim Cone and the great success of the Alaska Milk ballclub in the PBA in the 90s.

For the Cone-triangle offense marriage has made Alaska a dynasty for a long time and has also brought championships later to San Mig Coffee (Magnolia) and Barangay Ginebra.

It also won a bronze medal in the Asian Games (1998 Bangkok Asiad) and produced a shining gold at home in the Southeast Asian Games last year.

But for Cone's longtime deputy Joel Banal, it's the man and not the weapon.

Himself a proponent of triangle offense, Banal said the biggest key in their success with Alaska was Cone and not their offensive weapon.

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It's Cone as a complete package as a coach, said Banal during his appearance Tuesday night in the Usapang Coach webcast presented by Filoil and Flying V and hosted by Rick Olivares.

"Coach Tim is a combination of everything, not just game management, maximizing the use of the talent of a player, training, recruitment and everything," said Banal in praise of the winningest PBA coach with 22 titles to his credit.

"I think the first talent the coach should have is looking or seeing a potential in a player. It's like seeing a talent. Other coaches won't see it, but you would see it - a vision for a player. Coach Tim has got that.

"He sees the future," Banal also said.

Already a champion coach (winning back-to-back titles for the Mapua Cardinals in the NCAA) in the early 90s, Banal had got better perspective of the game after sitting beside Cone in the Alaska bench for the good part of that decade.

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"I incorporated everything good thing I saw from all my coaches from Ike Liwanag, Charlie Badion, Turo Valenzona, Nat Canson, Nic Jorge, Ron Jacobs, and from coach Tim," said Banal on his coaching acumen that also made him a multi-winning coach, one of few who has got titles on all levels in Philippine basketball (NCAA, UAAP, PBL and PBA).

He completed his personal grand slam in steering the Talk n Text Phone Pals (now TNT KaTropa) to the PBA Philippine Cup championship in 2003, months after championship rides in the UAAP and PBL with Ateneo. (SB)