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MANILA, Philippines – Tim Cone said on Friday, January 19, that he has yet to reach an agreement with the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) for him to stay on and coach Gilas Pilipinas for the long term.
Cone admitted he has been in talks with the federation regarding the coaching job, but refused to go into specifics as he left it to the SBP to make the announcement.
“We’ve had some conversations but nothing’s been done so far,” said Cone after steering Barangay Ginebra to the semifinals of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup following a 106-93 win over NorthPort.
“I think it’s up to the SBP. They’re up in the air about it. I’ve had some conversations with them but there’s nothing definite. I think you have to wait for their announcement on how they want to do it, if I’m the guy.”
Cone said he last met with the SBP brass a week ago.
“They’ve interviewed me. They talked to me about it but there’s no firm answer yet. That’s where we are at this point,” he said.
Cone, who has won a record 25 championships in the PBA, is a frontrunner for the coaching post after steering the Philippines to its first title in Asian Games basketball since 1962.
He initially turned down the task to call the shots for the national team in the Asian Games held in Hangzhou, China, from September to October last year before having a change of heart.
With the 66-year-old tactician at the helm, the Nationals dethroned China with a miraculous win in the semifinals and overcame erstwhile unbeaten Jordan in the championship game.
As Gilas returns to action for the opening window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers in February, Cone is once again looking at the possibility of coaching the national team.
The Filipinos will face Hong Kong in an away game on February 22 and will host Chinese Taipei on February 25.
“I know that they’re kind of in a hurry because the February window is in a few weeks. They still got to assemble the team and do all kinds of things,” said Cone.
“It’s not on me to say anything at this point. They’re the ones making the decisions, not me.”
For now, Cone is focused on the Gin Kings’ bid to capture the Commissioner’s Cup crown as they face San Miguel in a best-of-five semifinals. – Rappler.com