Everyone is a Ginebra rival
Ginebra coach Tim Cone is always visibly relieved when his team ends a series on a victorious note. Because of what coaches invest in terms of time, thinking and teaching, nothing is more satisfying than achieving goals.
But there’s still a finals to be played. Meralco, the Kings’ Finals foe in the same conference a year ago, has been already waiting for the rematch these last few days.
The Bolts swept Star in three games, by no means an easy triumph given that the Hotshots were on the doorstep of a Game One win. But the Bolts are the comeback kids of the conference and just as they did against San Miguel at the end of the elimination round and against Blackwater in the quarterfinals, they just roared back and won Game 1 and the series. And now the stage is set. Cone put it succinctly when he said in the post-game chat with the press last Sunday, “everyone’s a rival of Ginebra.”
With tradition and thousands of fans connecting past and the present Ginebra generations, the team is both a joy to play against and a headache for opposing teams in any venue.
This Ginebra-versus-the- world reality was so evident, especially after the rough and tumble Game 3 of the semifinals against TNT KaTropa. We all know that there was a halftime exchange of heated words in the hallway of Smart Araneta Coliseum where teams exit to for the locker rooms.
Thankfully, a steel fence separates protagonists and it helped prevent passions from being turned into blows.
The fans on social media were not yet done, though. There were tweets and counter tweets on how officiating went. The exchanges were getting nasty and personal and thankfully, the 140-character limit of Twitter prevented any excessive barbs. Talk of a digital fence!
It’s perfectly all right to express opinions about the games and their participants. But some degree of decorum is still in order no matter how passionate fans are—not only for Ginebra but for the other teams as well. Opinions are most welcome and are an essential part of the sports experience but one must stay calm while enjoying the games.
Tim Cone has been on both sides of the war zone, as a onetime fierce rival of Ginebra as Alaska and San Miguel Coffee coach. Now, he’s on the Ginebra side. And their rivals want to beat them each time, which makes for great games.