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Gilas building solid defensive wall

/ 05:20 AM October 05, 2019

There will be great court-shaking shift when the Gilas Pilipinas national basketball team starts defending the Southeast Asian Games championship here at home in December.

There will be stronger emphasis on defense for the Philippine national team.

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Based on what national coach Tim Cone has told SPIN.ph, they are in the process of building a solid defensive wall.

It’s too early to attach a proper adjective to the great buildup.

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But as per Cone’s declaration, Big D could be the calling card of this year’s Philippine national squad in the SEA Games.

How high or solid will the defensive wall be?

Cone may not yet be in a position to provide a fitting answer.

He however explained that offense will have to take a backseat, while defense will be wholly the concern for the Gilas team in training.

“Offense, it will take care of itself, it’s there perpetually, it will flow naturally anytime,” Cone tried to clarify.

This may sound vague, if not absurd, to those unused to the defensive system being offered by Cone.

But, this early, there’s a chance the Cone system could prove a vital turning point for the Philippine basketball itself.

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It will indeed be a thrill to see how this bright shift for the Philippine team will play out.

Our national basketball team has dominated the SEA Games basically as an offense-oriented outfit.

For starters, the supposed defensive wall cannot be as frail and flimsy as that of the last Gilas squad that flopped miserably in the China Basketball World Cup.

That Gilas national squad was wholly defenseless and was predictably blown out of the court in its first two assignments—against Italy and Serbia.

It also failed to win a single game and ended at the bottom of the global standing.

There was a form of defense promised ahead for that Gilas campaign, this however turned out to be pure fiction.

As a result, national basketball leaders have started considering the proposal for Philippine basketball to go the defense-oriented European way.

That, of course, is easier said than done as going the Euro way for Philippine basketball could  require a total change of culture and philosophy in the entire national basketball landscape.

The fighting never-say-die defensive system being introduced by Cone could prove totally rewarding.

But it will require shifting to a totally new basketball lifestyle.

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TAGS: Basketball, Gilas Pilipinas, sea games commentary, Southeast Asian Games, Tim Cone
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