IT IS WHAT IT IS. Tim Cone admits All-Star Games ‘always leave deserving players off.’
‘You want to reward those guys who are deserving, I think that is important, but basically, it is a fans’ game,’ says Barangay Ginebra head coach Tim Cone
MANILA, Philippines – Even Tim Cone admitted players he feels who are worthy did not make the cut for the PBA All-Star Game.
But the Barangay Ginebra tactician conceded that the mid-season festivities are for the fans, who ultimately decide who makes the All-Star teams, regardless of whether their choices are justified.
“It is a fans’ game. It is for nobody else but the fans. The All-Star Game is for the fans, totally,” said Cone, who will call the shots for Team Japeth Aguilar after earning the highest fan votes for coaches.
“You want to reward those guys who are deserving, I think that is important, but basically, it is a fans’ game.”
Fans were given full power to determine the 24 players who will see action in the All-Star Game through voting, with Gin Kings stars Aguilar and Scottie Thompson topping the polls to emerge as captains of their respective teams.
The results, however, prompted a debate on how All-Stars should be selected.
Rain or Shine’s Gian Mamuyac, who has three players ahead of him in the Rookie of the Year race, amassed the 14th-highest votes, while Ginebra’s Nards Pinto cracked the top 24 despite starting just once this season.
Two-time league MVP James Yap finished sixth in the balloting with hardly a surprise, although his inclusion raised questions considering he sat out the last two conferences due to his commitment as San Juan City councilor.
For Cone, though, it has always been that way for All-Star games.
“There is always going to be guys who are deserving and do not make it. Happens in the NBA all the time, in all sports – football, baseball, basketball, soccer, it does not matter,” said Cone.
“All-Star teams always leave deserving players off. That is just the nature of the All-Star – not enough spots for everybody.”
Players who Cone thinks should have been All-Stars include Converge’s Maverick Ahanmisi and NLEX’s Don Trollano.
Ahanmisi averages 18.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.4 steals, while Trollano norms 10 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.9 assists as their respective teams reside in the top four of the Governors’ Cup.
“There were a couple of guys that I know I voted – I voted for the All-Star teams, I did my votes – and I know three or four that I voted did not make it. I thought they were deserving. That is just the way it is.” – Rappler.com