The Finals of the PBA 2020 Philippine Cup is a battle of the titans.
The two clear cut best teams in the league today are the ones that will clash in a best-of-seven series to determine who will come out of the PBA Bubble as the new champions of the All-Filipino Cup, a title that will change hands for the first time since 2015 – thanks to the San Miguel Beermen not making it to the Finals.
Multiple storylines are being watched by the fans.
There’s of course the match-up of the two super teams itself, but aside from that, the age-old battle of two veteran guards, LA Tenorio and Jayson William Castro, the face-off the two MVP candidates Ray Parks and Stanley Pringle, the battle underneath between two of the most versatile bigs in the league Japeth Aguilar and Poy Erram and many more.
But a storyline that some fans may have overlooked heading into this series is the clash of the generals, and two of the best strategists in the game. The match-up of Barangay Ginebra head coach Tim Cone and TNT active consultant Mark Dickel.
These two coaches have proven to be the two best coaches in the league today. With one being the proven veteran and the other being the up and coming great young talent.
Although both men have different backgrounds, their skills and capabilities as coaches are similarly impressive.
Dickel, a Kiwi-Australian coach, was a former player who played for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas before taking his talents in the National Basketball League (NBL), he also suited up for the New Zealand national team and played in the 2000 and 2004 Olympics.
His talents, skills and natural leadership as a player helped him make the transition into coaching and in 2010, he became the head coach of the Albanian National team. However, he only had a one-year stint with that national team before signing with the Canterburry Rams in the NBL, where he coached from 2015-2018.
After the 2018 season of the NBL, he decided to take his talents in the PBA as an active consultant for the Tropang Giga, then known as Tropang Texters.
Although, his position states that he’s the active consultant of the team, he makes a lot of shot calling in the game despite having Bong Ravena listed as the head coach.
Since Dickel’s arrival, TNT have made five playoff appearances in his first two seasons, including two semifinals appearances and one Finals appearance.
His best run before this year, where the Dickel and the Tropang Giga went 10-1 before losing in the Finals in six games to the eventual champs San Miguel.
Dickel has proven himself as a high-tier coach, hence why he was trusted as the interim head coach of the Gilas squad that competed in the February window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.
Dickel is just 43-years-old and has already been doing pretty well in the league despite only being in his third season in the PBA. That’s why it’s no surprise that people are actually expecting him to become probably the best coach in the league in the future.
However, before Dickel takes his throne, the bar in terms of coaching in the PBA is still Cone.
What else hasn’t been said about Cone? Is it really important to go into detail about what he has done? I’ll tell you what, I’ll just mention three things that he has done since entering the league.
- 22 – PBA Titles
- 2 – Grandslams
- 3 – Coach of the Year Titles
Name another coach in the history of the PBA that is close to doing that.
I haven’t even mentioned the number of stars that he has brought into the league with his impeccable eye for talent and patience for improvement. As well as the former players of his or coaches that became part of his staff that went on to become a head coach of a team because of the inspiration he gave them to be one.
Cone is undoubtedly the Greatest Coach of All-Time.
And in this series, we’ve got a great young coach challenging the GOAT.
With great talent on their squads and both teams having something to prove this season, it’ll be interesting to see how these two generals will guide their teams to the PH Cup title.
With Ginebra looking to start off a possible Grandslam run and TNT looking to snap a five-year title drought. This Finals series will be one of the best in recent memory.
If you have doubts, well just watch the first game of the series.
Who would you rather play for, Cone or Dickel? Who do you have winning the series? Sound off below in the comments!