The Philippine Star

Chan leaves Cone in awe


It didn’t take too long for coach Tim Cone to find himself drooling at Ginebra’s newest acquisitio­n – shooter Jeff Chan.

The 35-year-old was acquired by Ginebra less than two weeks ago from Phoenix in exchange for the Gin Kings’ first-round pick in the next PBA draft.

Cone said with the very few games and practice sessions with Ginebra, the former Barako and Red Bull gunner has made a very handsome impression.

“The guy who impresses me right now that I’m so shocked although I knew it is Jeff Chan,” Cone said yesterday in a chance interview at the TV5 headquarte­rs in Mandaluyon­g.

“His basketball IQ is off the charts. He’s just an incredibly smart player. And you normally think of shooters as guys who would say, ‘Just give me the ball and I’ll shoot it,’” said Cone.

“But Jeff Chan? He built his game not because he’s a great shooter but because of his basketball IQ,” said Cone.

The coach with the most number of PBA titles knows great talent when he sees one – whether it’s a player on his team or outside.

“First thing I noticed about him up close in practice is that he always makes the right play and he’s never out of control. He’s not there to take a lot of shots but he can score more if he wants to,” said Cone.

If Chan would ask for it, the American mentor would give him the license to shoot 24/7. He can fire away anytime he wants, and normally would yield positive results.

“And no one would complain because he’s such a great shooter,” said Cone.

He admitted that since moving to Ginebra two years ago after a very long stint with Alaska, he always had the thought of acquiring Chan, a left-handed shooter in the mold of Allan Caidic.

“That’s why we really wanted him. But there was just no chance,” he said.

The opening, according to Cone, came when Chan was traded by Rain or Shine to Phoenix last year.

“That’s when we felt we have a chance,” added Cone, who admitted the team may be taking a gamble on a 35-yearold player in exchange for a future draft pick.

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