Cone: Chot still the best PH coach out there
TIM CONE is aware that his name could crop up when the selection committee for the Gilas Pilipinas national squad convenes for the first time possibly next month to name the pools for what could be a new coach and players.
He is, after all, just coming off a Grand Slam season and is the PBA’s all-time winningest coach.
As outspoken as he is, Cone has his own opinion on the matter. And considering his success and experience, his opinion might be worth listening to.
“I think it’s just fair to assess the team at this time, we all get assessed,” Cone, now a two-time Grand Slam winner, said Friday night, moments after his Purefoods crew notched just its first win in the Philippine Cup eliminations.
“But I honestly believe that it’s unfair to judge someone or a team after just one failure,” he continued.
Cone had his shot at coaching the national five, when the PBA created the Centennial Team in 2002. That squad also won the Jones Cup and also failed—although not as miserably—in the Asian Games.
Chot Reyes, the man in charge of the Gilas Pilipinas program for the last three years, is under fire for the country’s worst-ever Asiad finish—seventh place—last month in Incheon, South Korea.
That failure was highlighted by in-team squabbling involving naturalized player Marcus Douthit and that infamous own goal shot which many observers have labeled as tasteless and shameful.
And it came after Reyes had steered the Philippines to its first World Cup victory in four decades and taking global powers to the limit in Seville, Spain.
“After a great performance like the one they had in Spain, teams tend to flatten out,” Cone said. “We won the Grand Slam last year and look at us now. We’ve been struggling.”
Reyes has his reasons and those who love basketball may believe it or not. But Cone is not listening to any of that.
“Of course it would be a great honor for me [to be considered to replace Reyes],” Cone said. “But I honestly feel that Chot is the right man for the job. He has studied the international game for so long now.
“I will think about it (the eventual nomination). I will weigh it, of course,” he continued. “But my biggest consideration is that I really feel that Chot is still the man.”
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