MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel Corporation Chief Ramon Ang is reportedly unhappy with the performances of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and the Star Hotshots this PBA season to the point where he has ordered a revamp of both teams that will end up with 18-time champion head coach Tim Cone coaching Ginebra and Jason Webb coaching Star, according to a report by malaya.com.ph.
The report, which was penned by former PBA Press Corps president Noli Cortez, indicates that news of the development “gained momentum” on Wednesday, July 15, when Ginebra team manager and alternate governor Alfrancis Chua was promoted to be both the representative of Ginebra to the PBA Board as well as the firm’s sports director.
Chua was also named as the new president of the Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines last month, the report says.
Cortez reports in his article that the announcement of coaching changes for both teams “may come any time soon.”
When asked by PBA statistician Fidel Mangonon III about the news, Cone, who’s currently in Las Vegas scouting for talents in the NBA Summer League, said that he hasn’t been informed by a change in his coaching job.
“The Ginebra rumors? I’m in the US scouting the NBA Summer League and so I have not been communicating with management,” Cone said.
Cone also said he would follow whatever order is given by Ang.
“I serve at the pleasure of the president, Mr. Ang, and I’ll follow whatever direction he chooses,” Cone said. “It’s possible, but nothing has been said to me.”
Ginebra had 3 different coaches in each conference last season, starting with Jeff Cariaso in the Philippine Cup, Ato Agustin in the Commissioner’s Cup, and then Frankie Lim in the Governors’ Cup. The team failed to make the semifinals in any of the past 3 conferences.
Lim was slapped with a Php 50,000 fine and a one game suspension in his team’s last game after kicking Alaska player Calvin Abueva. The Aces won the contest, sending Ginebra to elimination in the quarterfinals for a third straight conference.
Cone was hired to be Star’s coach in 2011 after 22 years of service with the Alaska Aces, and has since won 5 championships with the team - including a Grand Slam during the 2013-2014 PBA season.
While Star didn’t win a title this PBA season, they still made the playoffs in each conference and advanced to the semis twice. Just a week ago, they were swept by the Aces in their best-of-5 semifinal series.
Ang’s other team in the PBA, the San Miguel Beermen, currently lead their finals series against Alaska 3-0 and are in good position to win their 21st franchise championship.
Game 4 is on Friday, July 17.