Philippine basketball

Familiar faces make up Gilas Pilipinas as SBP names Tim Cone head coach

Delfin Dioquino

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Familiar faces make up Gilas Pilipinas as SBP names Tim Cone head coach

MASTERMIND. Tim Cone calls the shots for Gilas Pilipinas in the 19th Asian Games.

PSC-POC Media Pool

Tim Cone brings in members of his Asian Games title-winning crew, Japan B. League standouts, and a UAAP MVP as he stays on as Gilas Pilipinas head coach

MANILA, Philippines – Familiar faces will represent Gilas Pilipinas in its first foray in 2024 while Tim Cone keeps his post as national team head coach, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) announced on Monday, January 29.

Cone tapped members of his Asian Games title-winning crew to make up the core of his roster, bringing in Justin Brownlee, June Mar Fajardo, Scottie Thompson, CJ Perez, Calvin Oftana, and Chris Newsome.

Japan B. League standouts Kai Sotto, Dwight Ramos, Carl Tamayo, and AJ Edu beef up the 12-man lineup that also features Barangay Ginebra forward Jamie Malonzo and reigning UAAP MVP Kevin Quiambao of La Salle.

Brownlee will still take the Philippines’ naturalized player slot pending a decision by FIBA as he continues to sit out after testing positive for a banned substance following the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, in October.

“I’ve always firmly believed from back in 1998 when I coached the Centennial Team that you’ve got to go out and get the best players in the country to represent us,” said Cone.

“We all have different opinions on who the best players are, but we’re confident we picked the best players who will form the best team.”

Cone, the winningest coach in PBA history with 25 titles, keeps his position as Gilas Pilipinas tactician after successful stints with the national team in the past, highlighted by their success in the previous Asian Games.

He also guided the Nationals to a bronze in the 1998 Asian Games and to a gold in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

“Coach Tim accomplished what has not been done in decades with only a few weeks to prepare and multiple challenges in terms of personnel, so we’re excited to see what he can accomplish with a long-term program in place, especially if such program is supported by all basketball stakeholders.” said SBP president Al Panlilio.

The 66-year-old Cone will call the shots starting in the first window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers in February, with the Philippines set to battle Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei.

Gilas Pilipinas will shoot for a Paris Games berth through the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in July.

“I’m looking forward to taking on the role of national team head coach again,” said Cone.

Cone will be joined by his Ginebra deputy Richard del Rosario, who will serve as Gilas Pilipinas team manager. – Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.