MANILA, Philippines – The PBA saw a number of messages and tributes to the recently retired Marc Pingris when he announced he would be hanging up his jersey on Tuesday.
But perhaps one of the most touching homage came from coach Tim Cone, who handled Pingris during his time with the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers from 2011 to 2015.
With Pingris and Cone, the Super Coffee Mixers were able to clinch a historic PBA Grand Slam — the first since Cone did it with the Alaska Milkmen in 1996 — in the 2013-2014 PBA season.
"End of an era. Certainly one of a kind," wrote Cone on Twitter.
"I loved, in every way, coaching Ping. Tough as nails on the court, gentle in spirit off it," he added.
Cone, having coached in the PBA since 1989, has already seen a number of great PBA players.
But for the PBA's winningest coach, the 39-year-old Pingris will be the template for how he coaches his players.
"[Pingris] will be the standard from which I coach future players," wrote Cone.
"My fav," he added.
Pingris hung up his jersey after a 16-year career in the PBA. He finishes as a nine-time PBA champion, a two-time Finals MVP and a 15-time PBA All-Star.