Spoelstra 'amazed but not surprised' 54k fans witnessed Ginebra win, says Cone
MANILA, Philippines – It is not every day when basketball coaches get to do their job before more than 50,000 spectators. So when Barangay Ginebra head coach Tim Cone experienced it, he did not waste the opportunity to tell buddy and Miami Heat tactician Erik Spoelstra about it.
The PBA’s winningest coach was left in awe after a PBA all-time record of 54,086 fans flocked to the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan, for Game 7 of the Governors’ Cup finals. He made sure to tell Spoelstra the story moments after Ginebra won the championship.
“I did tell him (Spoelstra). I went to their game against the Warriors, the Heat-Warriors game. I was able to spend two days with him. After the game, I went with Eric and we walked around San Francisco for exercise for about two hours. Sobrang pagod. So tired. We were talking the whole time,” said Cone.
He added: “He asked me, ‘How did you get 54,000 people in Araneta? Sitting on top of each other?’ He really thought we played in Araneta, not in Philippine Arena.”
Cone said Spoelstra was not shocked that so many people went to a PBA game.
“’I’m amazed but not surprised,’ those are his words. There were 54,000 people but [he said] ‘I’m not surprised because I know the fans there, I know what they’re like,’” Cone said.
It was not the first time Cone coached before more than 50,000 fans. In Game 6 of the same series, 53,642 supporters went to the world’s biggest indoor arena to cheer for their respective squads.
But it was probably Game 7 that really left a mark on Cone, especially since that was when he secured his 20th PBA title.
Cone and his wards will be returning to the Philippine Arena as they face the Star Hotshots in another Manila Clasico bout on Christmas Day. – Rappler.com