Cone puts Gilas sights on process, growth

Tim Cone puts Gilas sights on process, growth

/ 04:50 AM February 20, 2024

tim cone gilas

Gilas Pilipinas coach Tim Cone during an open practice on February 19. –MARLO CUETO/

National coach Tim Cone believes it is imperative for Gilas Pilipinas to start its journey to the Olympics on the right foot. But he is just as focused on ensuring that his charges don’t lose sight of the bigger picture.

“Yes it’s important that we win, but it’s even more we build a foundation from which we can bring into the next [Fiba, or International Basketball Federation] window and from which we can bring into the next one and the next one after that,” he said on Monday afternoon in a press availability the preceded Gilas’ open practice at PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.


SCHEDULE: Gilas Pilipinas at Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers window 1

“We want to be thinking about goals but it’s more important for us to be growth-oriented. And to become growth-oriented, we have got to stay with the process. And that’s what I hope these guys are getting and continue to get as a mindset,” he went on.


The team began laying the first bricks of that foundation on Thursday at Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.

Live look

Gilas Pilipinas' Justin Brownlee

Gilas Pilipinas’ Justin Brownlee during an open practice on February 19. –MARLO CUETO/

On Monday, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas gave about a thousand spectators a live look at the squad that will carry that dream and will be first tested on the road by Hong Kong this Feb. 22 in the Asia Cup Qualifiers.

Returning naturalized ace Justin Brownlee was showered with applause and cheers. The charming Dwight Ramos, to nobody’s surprise, was just as popular in the open practice session that lasted close to two hours.

“It’s really about building a foundation from which we can build from,” said Cone, who at times personally gave directions to the training squad that included a pair of his players at Ginebra. “This first window is our foundation. We’ve done everything foundationally at Inspire camp.”

READ: Paris 2024 or LA 2028, Tim Cone wants Olympic stint for Gilas

“We keep telling our plot guys we’re not gonna shortcut, we’re not gonna jump around, we’re just gonna build consistently forward. That’s why this one’s important,” he said.

Japeth Aguilar will be coming in as a stopgap measure for the recovering AJ Edu (torn meniscus). June Mar Fajardo, meanwhile, has also been ruled out for the Hong Kong clash and the homestand against Chinese-Taipei on Feb. 25 as he rests his strained calf.


The delegation leaves for Hong Kong this Tuesday.

READ: Fajardo, AJ Edu out for Gilas in first window of Asia Cup Qualifiers

“Whether it be Paris or [Los Angeles] in four years, our goal is to make the Olympics, and we do that by either qualifying through Latvia (Olympic Qualifiers) or being the Asian team in the World Cup,” said Cone.

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“To do that, we have to qualify for the World Cup, and to do that, we have to qualify through the Fiba Asia Cup. It’s all a progression that goes forward. Our focus is on what is it going to take us to get there. And that’s that day-to-day process that we’re going to battle. This window here is a part of that process and it’s gonna take us forward, get us advanced.”

TAGS: Gilas Pilipinas, Sports

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