“The passing of an era.”
That’s how Tim Cone put it when he paid tribute to Ambassador Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, Wednesday.
Cojuangco, the San Miguel Corporation chairman who’s best known as a godfather to Philippine basketball, passed away peacefully Tuesday evening.
He was 85.
“A tremendous friend to Philippine basketball. Our prayers for him and the Cojuangco family. The passing of an era.”
Cone arrived at SMC in 2011 after 22 years with the Alaska franchise, and he would enjoy much success with the conglomerate Cojuangco helped build.
Cone became the only coach to win the Grand Slam twice when he led San Mig Coffee to the rare treble in 2014.
The Mixers’ Philippine Cup conquest in that historic feat gave Cone his 16th PBA title, eclipsing the late, great Baby Dalupan for the most number of championships.
That success, moreover, gave SMC its second Grand Slam feat. The first one was won by San Miguel Beer in 1989.
Cone won a total of five titles with the Purefoods franchise. The American mentor would then continue his winning ways when he went to Ginebra in 2016.
Cone was also responsible for ending the Gin Kings’ eight-year title drought. He led them to the 2016 Governors’ Cup title, with Justin Brownlee as his import.
Since then, the crowd darlings have won four titles under Cone, who now has 22 championships under his belt.