Cone: Lack of continuity weighing Gilas down
Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone believes the lack of preparation isn’t necessarily the biggest problem of the national team, which is aiming for a strong showing when the country cohosts the Fiba World Cup in 2023.
Instead, the 22-time PBA champion coach thinks it’s the lack of continuity of the program that has been hampering its progress.
“It’s not necessarily about preparation,” Cone said during the Coaches’ Unfiltered podcast last Thursday night. “We use that term a lot that we don’t prepare. If you keep a team continuously over the years that’s preparation in itself.”
Cone understands the weight of expectations each time the national team steps out for an international tournament. He handled the Centennial Team that nailed a bronze medal in the 1998 Asian Games and returned late last year to handle the squad that retained the Southeast Asian Games crown.
Cone said the development also requires a lot of patience, which means that achievements won’t necessarily happen overnight. He said the national team program—like coaching—should be allowed to learn and grow.
“Coaching is all about failing and achieving,” Cone said. “If you’re looking for that instant gratification then you’re not growing, you don’t get the chance to grow and learn and you don’t give your people the chance to learn and grow and that’s what I’ve always felt about the national team.”
Over the last decade, the national team has been handled by Serbian Rajko Toroman, Tab Baldwin, Chot Reyes and Yeng Guiao. Reyes led Gilas to the World Cup in 2014 but was replaced by Baldwin a few months later. Baldwin currently serves as the director of the Gilas Pilipinas program.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas however has not hired a full-time coach for the program.
“It’s a lack of continuity. I think the teams and the guys that stayed the longest like [Toroman] … had some good success. [Toroman] developed that program and developed that team.”
Cone noted that Reyes’ squad had five or six tournaments together before a memorable showing in Spain.
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