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Tim Cone-led Ginebra coaching staff shies away from neckties for polo shirts

From the classic corporate get-up, Coach Tim Cone and the rest of the Ginebra coaching staff could be shifting to casual attires for good. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG--Before, you quickly knew Alaska, Magnolia, or Ginebra is in play when you see some coaches wearing long sleeves and neckties led by head coach Tim Cone.

Cone and the rest of the Gin Kings' coaching staff would temporarily ditch their business attires for simple polo shirts when the PBA went inside bubbles in Pampanga for the 2020 and 2021 Philippine Cups.

However, when the league welcomed fans again at the arenas for the 2022 Governors' Cup and the entire 2023 season, the Ginebra coaching staff brought the neckties back.

However, on Wednesday night, Cone entered the PhilSports Arena here wearing a black polo shirt with the Ginebra logo in it as well as his associates.

This writer thought maybe he just had his long sleeves and necktie inside his backpack, but when the Gin Kings went out for their warm-ups ahead of their quarterfinal game against the NorthPort Batang Pier, the coaches were still in their polos, apparently meaning they have indeed gone more casual with their get-ups.

Asked why they did so, Cone said even the other leagues have already gone away with the formal attires.

"Everybody's doing it. The NBA is doing it. They're taking the coat and tie away and even in college, so I guess we just decided to modernize ourselves and start doing that," the PBA's winningest coach said.

The NBA also decided to loosen up its dress code for coaches when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, allowing them to just wear casual clothes during its 2020 bubble in Orlando.

The league decided to keep it for good in the following seasons.

Meanwhile, Cone admitted that he was somehow forcing his assistants to wear the same way he did before, and he believes it is time to give them a favor.

"It's always been my thing. It's never been my coaching staff's. The coaches always hate it, but it was my thing and they had to do it because of me. But now, I'm adjusting to them. I'm doing this so they can be a little bit more comfortable," Cone further said.

Cone, who is turning 65 next Wednesday, then said that he feels too old already whenever he wears a formal attire.

"I'm just older now. I don't look good in ties anymore. When I was in my 30s and 40s, I could get away. I looked pretty good--like slim and looked very corporate. Now, I just look old, so maybe this thing will make me just to look a few years younger," he further said.

Cone then said that shifting to polo shirts was a month in the making.

"We asked World Balance (Ginebra's outfitter) to come out for the shirt that we would wear, and it was a process that took us about a month to get the shirt ready," he further said, adding that they only got the finished shirts by Tuesday, just in time for the PBA Commissioner's Cup Playoffs.

Cone's "new fashion era" began on a high note as the Gin Kings whipped the Batang Pier in Game 1 of their best-of-three series.

However, with how NorthPort fought for most of the first three quarters, Cone thought about going back to his usual corporate look if Ginebra lost.

Luckily for him, the Gin Kings ended the third quarter with a crucial breakaway to eventually seal the 118-102 win.

"I'm glad we won the first game, because otherwise, everybody thinks this is superstitious and you got to put the tie back on. Luckily we won the first game, so we can continue doing this," Cone further said, implying that the coaching staff will still wear the black shirts when both teams face off again on Saturday night for Game 2.

He then hinted that fans should expect his coaching staff still in their shirts on for a little longer.

"For now, no more neckties," Cone said.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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