Unlike other prominent head honchos of PBA teams such as Talk ‘N Text and Meralco’s Manuel V. Pangilinan and Alaska’s Fred Uytengsu, San Miguel Corporation president Ramon Ang rarely comes to the games in person.
That doesn’t mean, however, that he isn’t as crazy about basketball as his counterparts.
“He watches every game,” said B-MEG Llamados coach Tim Cone, who gave Ang his latest PBA title with their Commissioner’s Cup victory.
“He knows about the game, he knows all the players, and he loves to talk about it.”
According to SMC executive Noli Eala, Ang usually monitors the games from his home.
“If he can’t watch it live, then he asks for video of the games,” said the former PBA commissioner. Apart from B-MEG, SMC also bankrolls Barangay Ginebra and Petron Blaze.
But why the absence from the games? It’s because Ang tends to get too into the action.
“The reason he doesn’t go is because he has a tendency to ‘coach’ the teams. Napapasigaw siya from behind the bench, ‘Ipasok niyo si ganito,’” said Eala. “So he’d rather stay home.
But Ang was responsible for perhaps the most important move for B-MEG’s championship run: signing Cone to coach the B-MEG Llamados.
When he left the Alaska Aces after 22 years, Cone knew that he still wanted to coach in the PBA — handling a team anywhere else was not an option.
“I knew that SMC had interest, and I knew that PLDT had interest, if I ever left Alaska. It was like, if I ever became available, they’ll create a position for me,” Cone said in his early days with the Llamados.
It was Ang, according to Cone, who rolled out the red carpet for him.
“He’s given me much more than I asked for, and probably more than what I deserve,” said Cone of Ang.
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