Cone as Gilas Pilipinas coach in SEA Games? 'Nothing firm' yet

MANILA, Philippines – Whether Tim Cone will take over as head coach for Gilas Pilipinas in the upcoming Southeast Asian Games remains to be decided. 

Cone said the decision will have to wait until Monday, September 23, as he continues to discuss with the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) the plans for the biennial showpiece. 

"I don't know about any of the mechanics, I don't know who the pool is, I don't know where we'll practice, I don't know how many practices we'll have, I don't know who my staff is," Cone said on Sunday. 

"We still have to talk about those mechanics. That's why Monday was supposed to be the day we resolve this whole issue, not tonight."

"Because I don't have any real info except that [SBP president] Mr Al Panlilio did approach me and we did talk about it. But nothing firm has been decided at this point." 

After Yeng Guiao resigned from his post following a winless campaign in the FIBA World Cup, the search for the next Gilas Pilipinas mentor immediately began with the SEA Games kicking off two months from now.

It did not take long for Cone – who led the Philippines to a bronze-medal finish in the 1998 Asian Games – to be included in the discussion, with several reports stating the SBP has him at the top of its wish list. 

Getting the crucial blessing from the San Miguel Corporation, the Barangay Ginebra tactician said he is open to help the national team, even if it means coaching only in the SEA Games and not beyond that. 

"I understand fully that if I take the position, it's just a stopgap position, it's not a commitment to the Gilas head coaching," said Cone. "It's just that the SEA Games is coming in quick they want someone to step up and do it."

"So I could very easily be a one-and-done guy. Just go and coach the SEA Games, that's it. And I understand that fully."

"And this with me coaching that will give them time to put their search committee together and find the guy they really want to coach [until] I guess 2023." –

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.