Star Hotshots coach Tim Cone made a good point when he said he’s a believer of continuity than constant roster change.
Yes, it’s no secret that Cone had his share of player movements since the time he assumed the coaching post of Star (then known as B-Meg) during the 2012 season.
But I’m sure the player movement was part of his strategy to build on a team that will compete, not just for the elimination round, but for championships.
Although players come and go at Star’s camp, one thing was obvious, Cone had a solid core of players that compete for him over the last three and a half seasons.
James Yap, Peter June Simon, Mark Barroca, Mark Pingris and Joe Devance have all played big roles for Star’s five PBA titles under Cone, including last season’s Grand Slam.
A quick look at Star since the 2012 season revealed that the Purefoods franchise have actually been in the semifinals nine times in the last 11 conferences.
Yap and Co. were all there when the Hotshots made their championship run.
Similarly, Talk ‘N Text, one of the team’s most successful teams over the past four or five seasons, also relied on a solid core of players.
Jayson Castro, Ranidel de Ocampo, Larry Fonacier, Kelly Williams and Harvey Carey (add Jimmy Alapag, till his recent retirement) have played big roles in Talk ‘N Text’s three PBA titles, two runner-up finishes and nine semis stints.
Even Rain or Shine, despite winning just one PBA title in the 2012 Governors Cup, has been a pretty consistent squad over the last three years.
Coach Yeng Guiao’s core includes Paul Lee, Beau Belga, Gabe Norwood, JR Quinahan, Jervy Cruz, Ryan Arana, Jireh Ibanes and TY Tang.
All of them were part of the team’s 1 PBA title, 4 runner-up finishes and nine semis in the last 11 conferences.
What’s the point?
Consistency, chemistry and continuity – all these “Cs” are found in Star, Talk ‘N Text and Rain or Shine.
It’s a good guide to build a team that can consistently compete in the ever-changing PBA landscape.
And it’s also something the league’s most popular team Barangay Ginebra can learn from, especially now that the Kings’ legion of fans have been restless due to the constant player trades and coaching change.
I remember Ginebra team manager Al Chua telling me in an interview on January 5 that all these changes are part of their desire to “find the right combination”.
Now that Ginebra is under new coach Frankie Lim, the fifth new coach or so to handle the team since the 2013 season, Gin Kings fans will have to wait and see if this latest coaching change can eventually spell the “winning combination”.