SBP optimistic on chances to get Tim Cone nod for SEA Games
MANILA, Philippines–The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas is nursing optimism that Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone will respond positively to the offer of coaching Gilas Pilipinas in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
Cone has already released a statement saying he will make a decision only after Barangay Ginebra’s debut in the PBA Governors’ Cup, but SBP president Al Panlilio said Saturday that talks with the two-time Grand Slam mentor went smoothly.
“I think it went well,” Panlilio told the Inquirer. “We’re giving him time to talk to his family and then we will resume talks again.”
“Knowing Tim, he wants to contribute whatever way he can to the country,” Panlilio added.
“And knowing [San Miguel sports director] Al [Chua], they also want to contribute a lot to the national program,” Panlilio added.
Cone, in a statement, said he won’t make any decisions yet until Monday at the earliest, when he meets with Panlilio again.
“At this time, however, my total focus is on our Ginebra game vs Alasa [on Sunday] to open the Governors’ Cup,” Cone said.
“On Monday, and after talking to my family, Mr. Panlilio and I will continue our conversation regarding the appointment, at which time we will come to a resolution.
Cone was tagged by SBP chair emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan as the federation’s top choice for the SEA Games coaching duty.
Owner of the most PBA titles, Cone has already served as national coach during the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok, where he steered the Philippine five, then known as the Centennial Team, to the bronze medal.
Since that lone stint as national coach more than two decades ago, Cone has always mentioned that he wanted another shot at handling the Philippine squad in international meets.
A strong performance in the SEA Games might end up with a more permanent position with Gilas Pilipinas, whose head coach, Yeng Guiao, resigned after the recent World Cup.
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