Veteran Coach Tim Cone agreed to serve as the new head coach of the national team program for the 30th Southeast Asian Games, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) President Al Panlilio confirmed on Monday.
Cone, coach of Barangay Ginebra with 21 Philippine Basketball Association titles across his name, took over Yeng Guiao, who immediately resigned after the country’s winless campaign in the recent China Fiba World Cup.
“I spoke to Tim Cone last Saturday and he expressed interest. But he wanted to finish his game last night and talk to his family first,” Panlilio said. “Now I’m very happy to announce that Coach Tim has officially accepted the role as head coach for the Gilas Pilipinas Men.”
Cone’s mission is to win the Philippines’s 18th SEA Games gold medal in men’s basketball with a team composed of collegiate standouts who make up the young pool for the country’s cohosting of the 2023 Fiba World Cup.
Panlilio, however, clarified that Cone’s tour of duty will cover November 30 to December 21 when the country hosts the SEA Games at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“The resolution of our head coach situation should signify the start of our SEA Games preparations because the other countries like Indonesia are already putting in the work,” Panlilio said.
“We also want to reiterate that we’re taking it one step at a time and this arrangement is for the SEA Games only—for now. We’re still putting together a plan on how to move forward with our preparations for 2023 and beyond,” he added.
Cone coached the national team to the bronze medal in the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games.