The PBA's all-time winningest coach just keeps on winning.
Barangay Ginebra head coach Tim Cone added another piece to his trophy case after his team beat the San Miguel Beermen, 93-77, in Game 6 to claim the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup on Wednesday.
The championship was Cone's 21st as a head coach, his 16th in conferences with imports.
Cone earned his first head coaching job with the Alaska Aces in 1989, helping the franchise win multiple championships -- including a rare Grand Slam in 1996. After his time with Alaska, Cone moved on to coach the Purefoods franchise, then called B-Meg and later San Mig Coffee. With stars like James Yap and Marc Pingris, the American mentor bagged another Grand Slam in 2014.
The following year, he became the head coach of the Kings.
"For 26 years I was always trying to beat Ginebra. It's really tough to beat Ginebra... I know how hard it is," Cone told ESPN5 courtside reporter Selina Dagdag in an interview after clinching the title. "(But) I'm thankful that I'm on the other side now. I love being a coach for Ginebra."
In three years so far with the popular franchise, Cone has already won three championships. He was instrumental in helping Ginebra end an eight-year title drought by winning the 2016 Governors' Cup and steered the team in the defense of that title in the 2017 edition of the season-ending conference.
Now with the same core group and the same import but in a different conference, Cone is adding another title to his long list of PBA accomplishments.
But even if they were able to top the mighty San Miguel in the last two finals series they've met, Cone was quick to say that the Beermen remain the "best team" in the league.
"Winning a championship against them doesn't mean we're suddenly the best team. They're gonna have a lot of championships, especially with June Mar (Fajardo). They're still the best team," Cone said.
Before the finals series began, most pundits and fans were expecting San Miguel to dominate Ginebra. But in Game 1, it was Ginebra who looked like the more superior team, coming out with a huge win. The Beermen were able to get back on track and delivered two blowout losses to the Kings to go up 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.
It seemed as if they were going to go all the way with the show of force San Miguel displayed in Games 2 and 3. But Ginebra refused to die. They refused to let the Beermen go 7-of-7 in the finals in the Leo Austria regime.
By clinching this championship, Cone broke a tie with Yeng Guiao to become the winningest coach in the Commissioner's Cup with five titles.
"It was just a special moment for us to play as well as we did, especially after the two huge losses we had," Cone said. "For us to recover from there and win three games in a row? I'm speechless. I don't know what to say, my players are the best."
Another finals stint, another title. Another taste of glory for Tim Cone.