MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Even if PBA rookies CJ Perez and Robert Bolick impressed in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, Tim Cone decided to leave them out of the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games Gilas Pilipinas pool.
Given the limited time to prepare for the country's bid for an 18th SEA Games basketball gold, the Gilas head coach admitted it was a difficult choice, but he had to stick to a veteran lineup.
"We decided to go with a veteran group, again because – and this is not always the truth – generally, veterans are easier to coach short-term. They pick up things faster than young guys," explained Cone, who formed a15-man pool bannered by his Barangay Ginebra players.
"This is all about speed and efficiency that we're trying to do. I know that guys like Bolick and Perez had a great [World Cup] but once we decided we were gonna take 6 Ginebra players, we decided to go with a veteran group."
The Gilas SEA Games team will only be given 8 training sessions before the regional biennial meet unfolds on November 30.
Although both former NCAA stars were included in the Gilas 3x3 pool, Bolick posted a cryptic tweet minutes after the lineup snub.
"I want to make sure you made a mistake. #ChallengeAccepted," read the tweet.
I want to make sure you made a mistake. #ChallengeAccepted — Robert Bolick (@BabesBolick) September 26, 2019
But Bolick later added that he was referring to a new season of DOTA and not the Gilas snub.
I want to make sure you made a mistake! #ChallengeAccepted #DOTATOURNAMENT hindi po sa gilas! — Robert Bolick (@BabesBolick) September 26, 2019
The SEA Games Gilas Pilipinas team will train every Monday starting September 30, according to Cone. – Rappler.com
More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.