“Awesome,” “amazing,” “first-class.”
These were the words used by champion Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) coach Tim Cone to describe the Philippine Arena, which hosted two holiday season PBA games highlighted by the much-anticipated “Manila Clasico,” a match-up between Cone’s Gin Kings and the Star Hotshots.
“Amazing, amazing,” gushed Cone, who guided the Gin Kings to an 86-79 victory over rival Star Hotshots in front of a 20,000-strong crowd.
“Let me say this is an awesome facility. I’m so impressed with this facility. It’s so massive.”
Cone, who was born in the United States and went to college in George Washington University in Washington, D.C., was awe-struck by the Philippine Arena, which he compared to other famous indoor stadiums in the US.
“I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve been to a lot of stadiums in the United States, and I’ve never seen anything like this before,” the coach said.
“Even just pulling up and seeing the size of it… I’ve seen Staples [referring to Staples Center in Los Angeles, home of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers], I’ve seen the one in Denver, I’ve seen a lot of coliseums, I’ve seen nothing like this,” he added.
“It’s really a first-class facility. I can play here every day,” said Cone, who has coached in the PBA for over 25 years.
The sentiment was echoed by Mahindra Coach Chris Gavina, who coached the Floodbusters to a 97-93 victory over Blackwater Elite, and hoped that the PBA could schedule more games in the Philippine Arena.