Magic of coaching
IN every championship series, our main focus should be on the behavior of coaches. More to the point, on how the coaches strategize, map out game plans and execute tactics to achieve the ultimate goal: Success.
However, coaches cannot attain victory at all times. They win some, they lose some. Nobody’s perfect.
A good coach should know that in any win scored in a team game, the credit chiefly goes to the players.
And, in any defeat suffered in a team game, the blame is mainly pinned on the coach.
In my years, decades, of being a sports writer, I have seen but only one coach who, after a defeat, would immediately tell his players in the dugout: “Do not be sad. It’s all my fault. Blame me.”
That distinction goes to Tommy Manotoc, who gave the fabled Crispa Redmanizers their second PBA Grand Slam in 1983 after the late Baby “The Maestro” Dalupan piloted Crispa to its maiden Slam in 1976.
We are now enjoying the ongoing best-ofseven Finals of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup. Deadlocked at one win apiece.
Barangay Ginebra shocked San Miguel Beer in Game One 127-99 but the Beermen countered with a 134-109 victory in Game Two over the Gin Kings.
With both results definitely defined as ruthless routs, what might have caused the shockers to happen?
How could a team (Ginebra) lose by 25 points when only 48 hours ago, it had beaten the same squad (San Miguel Beer) by 28 points?
The magic of coaching it is called.
Ginebra coach Tim Cone used the ambush approach right at the buzzer in Game One to quickly collect piles of points on blazing drives and fastbreaks, completely catching San Miguel Beer off-guard.
Amazingly, SMB used the same strategy, with Beermen coach Leo Austria modifying his First Five by starting Alex Cabagnot instead of the usual Arwind Santos.
It clearly paid off, Cabagnot cavorting completely unchallenged in his daredevil drives and deadly shots from afar to score a career-high 22-point first-half points en route to a game-high 33 points.
If the first two games’ plots and results were that interesting enough, what can we expect from Austria and Cone in Game Three Wednesday?
Now that’s another coach’s work worth watching.
AL S. MENDOZA