August 8, 2022
Set to join Gilas Pilipinas' coaching staff, Tim Cone says high expectations for the national team to play at a high level at this point are 'unfair' and 'not realistic'

MANILA, Philippines – Tim Cone acknowledged fans’ frustrations towards Gilas Pilipinas’ disappointing results, but said their high expectations are “unfair” knowing that being competitive in the FIBA World Cup is the goal.

Set to join the national team coaching staff headed by Chot Reyes, Cone argued Gilas Pilipinas is still in the process of picking the players it will bring to the global hoops showdown, which the country will co-host next year.

“Always disappointing when you lose. When you lose in the PBA, it is extremely disappointing. I feel every time we lose a game, I’m letting down millions of Ginebra fans,” said Cone.

“But you know, I’ve looked at it in a way that this is an evaluation period. We’ve already assured our spot in the world championships, so why put all of it in right now?”

Cone also pointed out the constantly changing national team lineup, with Gilas Pilipinas playing with a completely retooled roster in the FIBA Asia Cup compared to the one it fielded in the Southeast Asian Games in May.

Dwight Ramos missed both tournaments, June Mar Fajardo saw action only in the SEA Games, while Ray Parks suited up for the national team for the first time in five years in the Asia Cup.

“For us to have these high expectations that we’re going to go out and play great basketball right now is kind of really unfair and not realistic at this point,” said Cone.

Cone added nobody can even name who will comprise the final 12-man lineup for the World Cup.

“What does that mean when you’re going to pick your best 12 players?” Cone asked.

“Does that mean best scorers? Or your most popular? Or the guys who put up the most numbers? If you do that, then you end up with having a team that will probably not play much defense or will not play much roles.”

“I think there is still a lot of questions to be answered and I think we still have to keep an open mind and we still have to be supportive in moving forward.”

Amid the uncertainties, one thing is for sure: Cone has Reyes’ back despite calls for him to resign from his post as national team head coach.

“I think the thing that Chot will find in me and the thing he knows in me, that I have his respect and I’m gonna be a guy who is going to support him at all costs,” said Cone.

“And that is what assistant coaches do. We’re there to support the coach. –

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