BEING a Ginebra player has its corresponding responsibilities and each King must shoulder it, more so in these trying times.
“We are the highest profile team so as a group we have to set the standard, to be models on how you should be doing things,” Ginebra coach Tim Cone pointed out.
“The moment you step out of line, the moment you start doing things on your own or doing something that’s against (our rules) it will get out in the press and people are going to make a big deal about it,” added Cone.
“We don’t always have a lot to talk about right now in terms of press. Any little thing that comes out people are going to write about it, people are going to talk about it, it’s going to stretch around the city and I said you don’t want that reputation and Ginebra doesn’t want that reputation.”
The words, according to Cone, are basically what he told Japeth Aguilar after the forward-center participated in a pickup game early last month, a no-no for all PBA players since the coronavirus pandemic forced the league to shut down in mid-March.
The infraction drew Aguilar a P20,000 fine and hours of community service from the PBA.
Cone said no penalty was imposed by the team on Aguilar, but the coach sure gave the player an earful as well as reiterating to all the Kings the reminder about their responsibilities as a Ginebra player.
“It’s really on us, to not only be the good boys but also be the leaders,” Cone said. “So we had a talk about that after it happened with Japeth and I think our guys have stepped up with discipline and have a lot better.”
So far, it seems all the Kings have taken Cone’s word to heart.
“The good news is, we continue to test our guys and we don’t have any infections. We’re all negative, so obviously they’re not going out and getting themselves exposed. They’re following protocol,” said Cone.
In a way, Cone admitted he could understand why Aguilar did it.
“There’s no doubt that we, seriously, all want to get back to work. I mean, I don’t know anybody who doesn’t want to get back to their job and I just got to talk to my wife yesterday and was telling her that the idea of waking up again and not having a purpose, letting the day go by — and it goes by so fast — it’s difficult. This is not what we’re wired for,” said Cone.
“Whether it be a PBA coach or a PBA player or someone going to an office… we all have a purpose and we all have things we like to do, wanna do. Now without that purpose it’s difficult and I feel that way with our players. Our players really want to get back together.
They really want to get back together and start working. Basketball is a passion, it’s a game of life and it’s really something missing when they don’t have a chance to do it and right now we don’t have a chance to do it. Running down stairs, doing calisthenics, and doing core workout. That doesn’t feed the need for competition, to go out and play,” added Cone.