Tim Cone seeks Erik Spoelstra’s advice on what to expect in the ‘bubble’

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 18) - Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings head coach Tim Cone said on Friday that he had conversations with Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra on what to expect inside the “bubble” as Philippine Baskteball Association (PBA) gears up for the resumption of its season next month.

“I think we are all excited to go on playing and get back to work, that’s the most important thing," Cone said in an interview with CNN Philippines. "But the problem is we don’t know what to expect really.”

“We’ve seen the NBA bubble and I talked to Erik Spoelstra a couple of times, with the problems there," he also said. "But it’s really about keeping the players active and I think that’s gonna be the big thing.”

PBA is set to restart its 45th season on Oct. 9 at Clark, Pampanga. It will follow the “bubble” concept of NBA, where players and coaches from all teams will stay inside a complex while the season is ongoing.

Cone also shared the struggle of training with limited number of players as the league only allowed four players in every practice session.

“I worked with my guys today or just my cluster," he said. "I have four guys, we are in four-guys clusters right now. We can’t really go full team until we go into the bubble.”

Furthermore, he said that players are currently out of shape as gyms remain closed due to the community quarantine.

“It’s difficult because the guys aren’t really in good shape right now," Cone said. "They’ve been up for seven to eight months, they worked out on their own...but their wind when it comes to running up and down, our guys gasped today doing that.”

“When you come back, when you are not in shape and when you try to push yourself, that’s when the injuries occur,” he added. “So there’s a lot of concerns that our trainers have to worry about, I'll have to worry about in designing the practices.”

The Gin Kings won the 2019 Governors’ Cup in January, their third championship in four years.

As 12 teams will be locked up inside the bubble until December, Cone said it is important to keep the players physically and mentally fit just like what Spoelstra is doing with the Heat.

“It's really tough, it’s really about keeping the guys active and I think that’s what Erik is trying to portray, to keep the guys active," he said. "It just can’t be basketball, basketball, basketball, basketball, there’s got to be something else.”

Cone added: “We have to keep the guys occupied, we don’t want them to isolate in a room all day long and go practice and go back to their room. We want to keep our guys active and mentally healthy while we are there.”