Matapos na maihayag ang Philippine men’s basketball pool para 30th Southeast Asian Games, kumpiyansa si Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Commissioner Ramon Fernandez na ang bagong talagang national coach Tim Cone ay magagampanan ng husto ang kanyang trabaho.
Si Fernandez, miyembro ng silver-winning Asian Games team nung 1990 Beijing, ay naniniwalang ang Philippines ay maisusubi ang 18th overall men’s SEA Games basketball title mula pa 1977.
Amg men’s basketball competition ay gaganapin sa December 1 to 10 sa Mall of Asia Arena sa Pasay City.
“He (Cone) knows what it takes to win in the Southeast Asian Games. It can be done with an all-pro lineup and even with a mix collegiate stars,” ani Fernandez, ang four-time Philippine Basketball Association Most Valuable Player.
Naiporma ni Cone kamakailan ang Gilas Pilipinas 15-man SEA Games pool na pinangunahan ng 6 Barangay Ginebra San Miguel players — Japeth Aguilar, Greg Slaughter, Scottie Thompson, LA Tenorio, Art Dela Cruz at Stanley Pringle.
Ang iba pang players na napili ay sina June Mar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, Chris Ross, Christian Standhardinger, Roger Pogoy, Troy Rosario, Jayson Castro, Vic Manuel at Matthew Wright.
“We don’t want to lose this one. This is our home court. This is not the best talent, but we are trying to be the best team that we can,” sambit ni Cone, ang winningest Philippine Basketball Association coach na may 21 titulo na pinadingas ng grand slam crowns nung 1996 at 2013.
“We decided to go with a veteran group, again because generally veterans are easier to coach short-term. They pick up things faster than the young guys. This is all about speed and efficiency that we’re trying to do.”
Sa nakaraang 2017 Southeast Asian Games sa Malaysia, ang Gilas Pilipinas ay pinamunuan ng pinaghalong professional A amateur players para maipanalo ang gold.
Balik si Cone sa national team para sa ikalawang pagkakataon natapos ang coaching sa Philippine Centennial squad sa 1998 Bangkok Asian Games. Ang baturang koponan ay komopo ng bronze medal. (Louis Pangilinan)