Cone wants defense to be Gilas Pilipinas’ calling card in SEA Games
MANILA, Philippines—Scoring doesn’t worry national team coach Tim Cone at all.
It’s on the other side of the floor where Cone puts premium on as the Philippine team gears up to keep its throne as the region’s undisputed king in men’s basketball.
“Today, basically all we did was some simple defensive drills just to try and get everybody on the same page,” Cone told reporters after national team pool practice at Meralco Gym.
“I really want our guys to be thinking defense, I want our guys to be thinking defense, I want our guys to be talking about defense and I want them to take great pride in defense and hopefully, that’s going to be part of what we do.”
With the likes of reigning five-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo and explosive guards Stanley Pringle and Jayson Castro to name a few, Gilas will have plenty of firepower—enough to overwhelm the opposition just by the squad’s sheer offensive talent.
But Cone would rather want his players to be capable of lighting up the scoreboard while also play lockdown defense.
Cone, the winningest coach in PBA history, believes Gilas is fully equipped with the pieces to make a great defensive team.
“Like I said before, we have great offensive players and they’re also great athletes. The great defensive players are also athletes so if we can get them thinking defense and using their athleticism on defense I think we can put a really good product together out there,” he said.
“I’m not concerned about their offense but we’re gonna give them something that they can experiment with and discover how can they use it but defensively is where I think I as a coach can help them get on the same page and do something a little different,” he added. “Exciting because it seems like everybody is buying in.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.