San Mig Super Coffee is gunning for a fifth straight PBA title and 14th overall this coming Sunday (Oct. 19).
On the other hand, Alaska looks to build on its early offseason training and chase for championship banner no. 15 under new coach Alex Compton, starting with the Philippine Cup.
Although it has been three seasons since Cone left Alaska, there is no doubt that the American coach has etched his own name in the history of the Uytengsu-owned PBA franchise.
Cone won his first 13 PBA crowns with the Aces during his lengthy coaching tenure from 1989 to 2011. He then earned five more after taking over the coaching reins at San Mig (B-Meg) from the 2012 season onwards.
Despite being the winningest PBA coach in history, Cone remains “hungry” as a coach. Fact is, he even got former NBA coach Tom Newell to come in and provide the “outsider’s perspective” during the Mixers’ practice last week.
He admits that despite being in the league for 25 years and counting, there are instances when familiarity takes away his “eye for the detail”. No wonder, he tapped Newell to help him and the team correct their mistakes so they can be better.
Meantime, more than a month before Newell’s arrival, Compton, a former long-time assistant coach and once a deadly playmaker with the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association, brought in veteran Australian coach Rob Beveridge to help Alaska in its two-week-long training camp this offseason.
Compton calls Beveridge a “great basketball mind”, who has a great understanding of the game. Beveridge is best remembered for steering Australia to the championship of the 2003 World Under-19 meet in Thessaloniki, Greece, a team that had future NBA star Andrew Bogut.
Cone and Compton are just two examples of PBA coaches, who despite their stature and achievements in the game of basketball, continue to remain “hungry” by way of bringing in somebody who can help him and their respective teams get better.
Watching them from the outside do their work as coaches have inspired me also to be a “perpetual learner” in the game of life.
Through their ongoing offseason preparation, I’m reminded that learning doesn’t stop the moment you earn your college degree. Instead, learning continues as long as you live.
Whether you’ve been working as an engineer in your company for the last 15 years, or you’ve been in the teaching profession for decades, learning should be a continuous process.
More importantly, learning requires the attitude of humility because a “learner” always challenges the status quo by asking the question, “what can I do better the next time?”
In today’s “Social Media and Information” Age, we now have all avenues and opportunities to learn. From podcasts, vidcasts, blogs, e-books, Facebook status of well-known personalities, and many other forms, we can learn a lot.
Let’s all make learning a habit for by doing so, we’ll get better and grow wiser.