Barangay Ginebra head coach Tim Cone clipped fans early high expectations. Their squad looks good on paper but not guarantees championship as what the multi-champ mentor tries to relay.
After a few days of the monster trade which involved the Ginebra and the Northport Batang Pier where they made a player swap between Christian Standhardinger and Greg Slaughter, many die-hard fans of team NSD feel that capturing their back-to-back All-Filipino rings will be as easy as counting 1-2-3.
“I think managing expectations is going to be one of the big hurdles going for our team,” said the 63-year-old Cone. “People would say, ‘Oh they’ve got Christian.’ On paper, we’re going to look good, but you’ve got to do it on the floor.
“And that’s the danger that happens,” said Cone.
One of his comparisons was their trade partner, the Batang Pier. After Standhardinger joined the coach Pido Jarencio-led squad in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup where they eliminated the top-seeded NLEX Road Warriors everyone sees them be the top championship contender in the PBA bubble tournament in Pampanga.
However, NorthPort was unable to meet those high expectations and instead lurked at the bottom of the standing in that lone 45th PBA season conference. They only managed one victory and shared the last spot with the Terrafirma Dyip.
“Who was the team everybody was talking about going to the bubble with Greg gone, and June Mar gone? The team everybody was talking about if I remember was Northport. Everybody was talking about NorthPort, how Christian would dominate and Sean Anthony,” Cone remembered prior to the start of the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup.
With this anticipation from one of the most tenured and well-experienced basketball head coaches in the Philippines, the adjustment of C-Stan to Ginebra will be smooth since coach Cone might already a game plan on what role he will give to one of his biggest assets.
“Yeah we’re coming off a couple of championships, and we have gotten Christian to a team that won a championship without Greg. So we have gotten him like an addition. So on paper, we should be competing for that championship,” Cone added. “But again, on paper and getting on the floor are two huge different things. So that’s going to be our challenge.”