Brgy. Ginebra head coach Tim Cone is proud to have been a part of the Alaska Aces.
The 64-year old American mentor, who broke through the PBA via the Wilfred Uytengsu-owned franchise in 1989 and delivered 13 championships, including a rare Grand Slam in 1996, was also saddened by the unfortunate development.
“I’m saddened by the news of Alaska’s exit from the PBA, but looking back, I’m extremely proud of my time (23 years) with Alaska where I made many lifetime friends amongst the player and staff. My coaching career grew up under the stewardship and friendship of Mr. Uytengsu, and I’m grateful for his mentoring. I am who I am as a coach and as person because of that,” said Cone in a statement.
Uytengsu announced on Wednesday that the 2021 Governors’ Cup will be his team’s last in the league. Under his leadership, Alaska won 14 titles – 13 under Cone and the last one with Luigi Trillo in 2013.
Cone stressed that the league without the Aces seems ‘unnatural’.
“Needless to say, it’s an end of an era. Alaska and those that led it will be sorely missed. It was a proud franchise with great successes and I was fortunate to be part of its legacy and culture. Going forward now without Alaska in the league will seem unnatural and I believe it will mark a time of great transition for the PBA,” added the 4-time PBA Coach of the Year.