Ginebra coach Tim Cone likened his coaching job with the Gin Kings to that of the national team.
And he has the die-hard fans to thank for that.
Around 2,500 Gin Kings supporters flocked the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan for Ginebra’s thanksgiving and fans day to celebrate its back-to-back PBA Governors’ Cup championship.
“It’s almost like coaching the national team,” said Cone, who was joined by his wards except for Joe Devance who’s back in the States. “Everywhere I go there are Ginebra fans, I just love that.”
Cone, the most successful PBA mentor, joined the Gin Kings back in 2015. Ginebra ended an eight-year drought last year by taking the Governors’ Cup title in six games at the expense of Meralco. The Gin Kings completed their repeat in a grueling seven-game battle with the Bolts.
“I’m just so proud to be a part of the Ginebra family and I’m so proud that we were able to win two championships for you,” he said. “We hope to win many, many more.”
Just like the Gin Kings, even their fans live to their mantra of ‘never-say-die spirit’.
As a proof, some fans even camped out of the venue Thursday night just to be first in line when the gates opened 11:00 a.m. Friday.
A certain Garret Umiton was the first to register his name when the gates opened.
Admission in the event was free in a first-come, first-served basis. The first 2,500 fans were given free Gin Kings championship shirts and food.
Supporters played parlor games with Ginebra players and prizes were given to some lucky fans.
There was also video tribute to retired Gin King Jayjay Helterbrand, showing the remarkable career of one of the PBA's best guards.
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