SMART CLARK GIGA CITY — Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s saw their preparations before its 2020 PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinal clash versus Rain or Shine affected by the destructive Typhoon Ulysses.
“We went to practice yesterday morning and the court, there was no power,” recalled head coach Tim Cone of the AUF Sports and Cultural center’s condition.
“The court was really slippery from all the rain the night before.”
The league’s most accomplished mentor, though, knows that the inconvenience to his team is incomparable to what thousands of Filipinos — especially in Metro Manila and many other regions of Luzon — suffered.
“I know it’s been really, really tough. We’re seeing all the pictures here… We saw some of the damage outside, but this was just a small piece of what happened in Manila,” he said as the Quest Hotel wasn’t spared, too.
“And I have friends that actually lost their houses and stuff like that, and have been totally flooded out. Our house got flooded, too,” the 22-time champion coach added.
“None of us are immune from it.”
Cone then remembered the act of service towards those affected, something that his assistant coach Kirk Collier has been reminding them. And he knows that the San Miguel Corp. will be extending a helping hand.
“He is always reminding us of donations and helping out the less fortunate. I know that our organization will help. Mr [Ramon S.] Ang has a history of that, long history of that. I’m proud to be part of this organization,” he said.
For sure, some of the Barangay’s legions of fans are among those affected by the wrath of Ulysses, which caused such severe floods in the metro and other parts of Luzon that it reminded many of Ondoy.
But on Friday night, the Gin Kings gave them something to smile about amidst these trying times. They pulled away late to beat Rain or Shine, 81-73, to become the first team to enter the semifinals.
“As a team and as individuals, we also need to step up. Hopefully, we can do that either through our families or through somehow here in the bubble. Our hearts are with our fans.”