After rousing success, Tim Cone plans to have Ginebra ‘open practice’ once in a while

Crowd darling Ginebra took advantage of their long layoff as they opened their team practice doors to the public on Sunday morning at the FilOil Flying V Arena.

The Gin Kings are in the middle of their 12-day break, and the coaching staff felt it was the perfect time to treat their faithful supporters for an opportunity to get closer with their basketball idols.

“We’ve been thinking this for a while, we just found the right time on this long break,” said head coach Tim Cone after the event-practice. “I just thought it would be fun to do it with the fans.”

Crowd estimate would be more than a thousand, as the venue was filled with cheering fans of all ages.

“We have a good conference so far, and fans are coming back, they’re excited about it so it’s a good merit right now,” he added.

Cone joined Ginebra players gamely signed autographs and took pictures with the fans after the practice.

The PBA winningest mentor recalled that before his historical feats, he was once a fan of Ginebra who would go to their team practices held at Makati back in his 20s. For him, witnessing team practices often made him love Ginebra hero Robert Jaworski and company even more.

Veteran playmaker LA Tenorio likewise felt the love of the Ginebra die-hards.

“It’s only a regular team practice pero all out support pa rin sila, feeling namin nasa game kami even on a Sunday,” said Tenorio.

“Maganda standing namin now, hopefully mas bumalik yung fans kasi siyempre disappointed for how many years,” continued Tenorio.

The American coach, meanwhile, said the team may conduct it once every conference or if the schedule will allow it, every two months.

“We can’t do this all the time obviously, maybe on special occasions,” Cone said. – By Jason Mercene

Follow this writer on Twitter: @JasonMercenePH