Santos sees Baste’s golden form returning with Tim Cone values

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jun 03, 2015 08:22 PM
Santos sees Baste’s golden form returning with Cone values
YOU SHOULD KNOW RODNEY SANTOS. New San Sebastian coach Rodney Santos (rightmost in photo) said his Golden Stags and Topex Robinson's (middle in photo) new Lyceum crew are not rivals. (Photo courtesy of Jr. NBA)

In only two years as an assistant coach, Rodney Santos has already learned the biggest lesson for players turned mentors.

"Hindi lahat ng gusto mo, mangyayari at magagawa. Dun papasok ang pasensya," he told ABS-CBN Sports.

Fortunately for the now head coach of San Sebastian College, most of his basketball mind was filled during years under the winningest coach in Philippine basketball history: Tim Cone. Santos was a key cog in Cone's Alaska squads that defined the PBA in the '90s.

The first-time head coach admitted outright that his coaching style is heavily influenced by his own multi-titled mentor. "Nakita ko kung pano naging pasensyoso si coach Tim noon at yun lang din ang ginagawa ko ngayon," he said.

Cone's hand in shaping Santos' basketball mind will be in full display in the upcoming NCAA season as the Golden Stags undertake a transition to the American's patented triangle offense. "Triangle offense na talaga ang tinatakbo namin because I want an equal opportunity offense," Santos said.

The new San Sebastian mentor happily shared that initial results have so far been positive as his wards have quickly grasped his system. "Ang galing nila kasi at their age, nakuha na nila," he said.

Asked if he has received any tips from his own multi-titled mentor, Santos replied that the two of them have yet to talk after he got his new job. However, he shared that he has already gotten permission to observe Star's practices from team manager Alvin Patrimonio who said that Cone will be delighted to see his former player still wanting to learn.

Following a six-year run with Cone's Alaska, Santos played for Purefoods, Ginebra, and Coke for six more years before hanging up his sneakers. He said he had no thoughts about coaching until fellow San Sebastian alumnus Topex Robinson gave him a call to join his coaching staff in Recto.

Santos was pulled in and served as deputy for a couple of seasons including the most recent tumultous one which saw Robinson walk away from the job. Neither old nor new Golden Stag mentor would like to disclose what really happened, but Santos said that it was Robinson who told him to stay by telling him, "Mas mabuti nang ikaw kesa mapunta sa iba."

After a few months of uncertainty which saw him handling the Golden Stags in an unofficial capacity, Santos was formally made head coach last March. Despite having only lean coaching experience, Santos said the Augustinian Recollects picked him to guide the school's new basketball era because "ang gusto nila, product ng San Sebastian."

The new San Sebastian mentor clarified that there are no ill feelings whatsoever between him and new Lyceum coach Robinson. “Wala kaming problema at lagi pa ring nagkukumustahan,” he said.

In fact, Santos shot down thoughts that the skirmishes between the Golden Stags and Pirates in the looming collegiate wars will be must-watch. “Wala namang rivalry na ganun kasi hindi naman kami naintriga ni coach Topex,” he told ABS-CBN Sports.

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