Philippine basketball

Tim Cone ‘perfect coach’ for Gilas, says Aussie national mentor Goorjian 

Philip Matel

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Tim Cone ‘perfect coach’ for Gilas, says Aussie national mentor Goorjian 

LEGENDS. Tim Cone of Barangay Ginebra (right) and Brian Goorjian of the Bay Area Dragons during their PBA finals face-off.

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‘Respected, smart, knowledgeable’ – Australian national men's basketball team head coach Brian Goorjian remains profuse with praise for Gilas Pilipinas head coach Tim Cone

CEBU, Philippines – For Australian national men’s basketball team head coach Brian Goorjian, Gilas Pilipinas definitely made the right choice in picking Tim Cone, describing him as the “perfect coach for the future of Philippine basketball.” 

“I only had one year there (in the Philippines) but there’s no one I had more respect for in the game of basketball in the Philippines than Tim Cone,” Goorjian told reporters during a training camp organized by the East Asia Super League at the Hoops Dome in Lapu Lapu City on Saturday, March 9.

Goorjian, who also coached the Bay Area Dragons in the PBA last year, faced off with the new Gilas coach in the Commissioner’s Cup finals where his Dragons squad yielded to Cone’s Barangay Ginebra in a grueling seven-game series. 

Aside from noting Cone’s appointment as a good move, the legendary Australian mentor also commended the inclusion of “new, young exciting players” like Kai Sotto and Kevin Quiambao. 

“And I think Tim Cone’s a perfect coach for the future of Philippine basketball,” said Goorjian. “He’s been there. He knows the system. He knows the players. He’s respected and he’s smart, knowledgeable.”

During Cone’s journey from interim to permanent head coach, he had already led Gilas to the Asian Games gold medal, and carded two convincing wins during the first window of the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers.

The Philippines blew out Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei by 30 and 53 points, respectively, last February.

As Goorjian gears up for another Olympic run, his fourth, he looks to improve on the bronze-medal finish his team achieved in the 2021 edition in Tokyo.

The team will now be led by NBA rising stars Josh Giddey, Duop Reath, Dyson Daniels, Josh Green, as well as Chiba Jets standout Xavier Cooks.

“I’m looking forward to these Olympics,” said Goorjian. “This is for me, I think I’ve got a nice base here. And I think we’ve got a good team, and we’re expecting a good performance in Paris.” 

“And then I think it’s gonna get stronger, because our basketball is getting stronger, we’re producing better players, and we’re introducing better players,” he continued. 

“So that bronze-medal team got to hear we’ve gone through change, but I think the ceiling of this new young group is even higher.” 

Gilas, on the other hand, will have its hands full when it attempts to secure a slot in the Olympics for the first time since 1972 through the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Riga, Latvia.

It will have to hurdle Georgia and the hosts in the group stage before looking to face the winners in the other bracket, which is comprised of Brazil, Cameroon, and Montenegro. —

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