AN Asian Games gold medal beaming in his already stacked credentials, the nagging but obviously logical question to ask Earl Timothy “Tim” Cone is: Will he be available as permanent head coach of the national men’s team?
“Am I open to it? Certainly, I’m always open to the challenges of doing something spectacular,” Cone told reporters on Monday night at the Novotel in Cubao where he received his fifth Virgilio “Baby” Dalupan Coach of the Year trophy during the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Press Corps Annual Awards Night.
“But again, the forces have to be right to be able to jump into the storm and sail,” added the 65-year-old owner of 25 PBA titles who was the press corps’ best coach in 1994, 1996, 2014 and bubble year 2020.
“We have to figure out what direction or vision [to take],” added the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s chief tactician. “Once we do that, then we can decide who’s to lead that.”
The call for the two-time PBA grand slam coach to permanently handle the national team continues to reverberate after that October 6 night in Hangzhou when he steered a hastily-formed team to the Asian Games gold medal that ended five decades of drought in the sport Filipinos love so well.
But Cone has always stayed humble despite the historic achievement.
“I’m always trying to say that it’s a very complex question, it doesn’t deserve a simple yes or no answer,” he said. “There are a lot of things that need to happen in terms of planning and the coming together of the PBA and the SBP [Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.”
“All those things that need to come together to be able to answer that question,” he added.
SBP has yet to discuss its plans on Gilas Pilipinas which has Cone as interim coach, replacing Chot Reyes.
POGOY BACK ON CHRISTMAS DAY
TNT coach and team manager Jojo Lastimosa said that one of his chief gunner, Roger Pogoy, is expected on the court when the Tropang Giga play the Ginebra Gin Kings on Christmas Day.
“It’s no longer six months, we’re looking at December 25 for Roger [Pogoy] to play against Ginebra,” said Lastimosa also during the PBAPC awards night where he was named the Danny Floro Executive of the Year.
Lastimosa said that Dr. Miguel Valera cleared Pogoy, who was sidelined by myocarditis after his stint with Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA World Cup.
“It’s going to be a consolation if he plays by December. We miss Roger now that Mikey Williams isn’t there,” Lastimosa said.
TNT recently terminated the no-show Williams’s contract.
TNT, meanwhile, battles Terrafirma at 4 p.m. on Wednesday and NorthPort takes on NLEX at 8 p.m. at the resumption of the Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.