Gilas still has full SMC support even without Alfrancis Chua

Even with Alfrancis Chua begging off, Gilas still has full SMC support

/ 05:20 AM February 03, 2024

Alfrancis Chua stresses a point during the press conference. —AUGUST DELA CRUZ

Alfrancis Chua stresses a point during the press conference. —AUGUST DELA CRUZ

Alfrancis Chua won’t be on the Gilas Pilipinas sidelines when the National Five opens a new leaf in its chapter under Tim Cone.

“At the moment, I just can’t. It’ll be hard for me,” the animated executive told the Inquirer when asked about a return stint with Cone now named the national team head coach at least for the next four years.


“I’m still going to help, but I’m doing something so I cannot commit,” he said. “(President) Al Panlilio talked to me. Even Tim talked to me, but I explained before, weeks even (the coaching announcement) that it would be unfair to them, to the team, and the Philippines as I’ll be dealing with a business that needs my focus.”


READ: Gilas program picking up lessons from the past, says Erika Dy

Cone was named the long-term coach by Panlilio and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas on Monday and it came as a surprise to many when Chua was not named team manager.

He served in that capacity during Gilas Pilipinas’ magical run in Hangzhou in China in October, when the Nationals ended the country’s 61-year wait in reclaiming Asian Games supremacy after beating the host Chinese in the semifinals and Jordan in the gold medal game.

Chua was one of the team managers of that team together with PBA commissioner Willie Marcial and together with Cone, assembled the best possible team coming from the pro league just three weeks before the Asian Games started.

Gilas Pilipinas coach Tim Cone

Gilas Pilipinas coach Tim Cone during an open practice on Thursday at PhilSports Arena. –MARLO CUETO/

A former coach and now San Miguel’s sports director, Chua was one of the conditions Cone specifically asked the basketball leaders for before taking on the Asiad assignment.

Chua reiterated that San Miguel’s support to the Gilas Pilipinas stays as it navigates a new Fiba World Cup calendar.

“We’re not going anywhere. We’ve always been a sponsor, even in the (last) World Cup. Nothing will change,” he said.


READ: New Gilas coach could face same old problems

Richard del Rosario has been named Cone’s team manager and a member of his yet-to-be-completed coaching staff. Cone has also named the members of his 12-man pool led by seven-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo and naturalized player Justin Brownlee.

Chua, if anything, believes that those who will be in charge will be capable.

“I have faith that those in charge right now [would] give their 100 percent,” he said.

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“It’s just there’ll be no long-haired dude on the bench,” he added with a chuckle.

TAGS: Alfrancis Chua, Gilas Pilipinas, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas

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