Tim Cone taps Jimmy Alapag, Jong Uichico for SEAG
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - September 30, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Coach Tim Cone beefed up his think tank for the Gilas Pilipinas team to the Southeast Asian Games by enlisting Asean Basketball League champion mentor Jimmy Alapag and the gold medal-winning tactician in the 2017 SEAG, Jong Uichico, as deputies.

Alapag and Uichico, as well as injured Ginebra player Joe DeVance, will reinforce Cone’s coaching staff manned mostly by his Ginebra assistants Richard del Rosario, Freddie Abuda and Kirk Collier.

“Jimmy’s joining because of his knowledge of the ABL and the players; he knows these guys (SEA players) really well,” Cone said of Alapag, who steered Alab Pilipinas to the 2018 ABL title.

Uichico, currently the head of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas’ coaches commission, has been serving Team Philippines as either head coach or assistant since the 2002 Asian Games, and guided the squad to the gold in the Kuala Lumpur SEAG.

“We’re good buddies and Jong is basically the SBP appointee on the team and he knows the international game as well as anybody in the country,” said Cone of Uichico.

As he’s not yet playing, DeVance was taken in to help Cone teach his system to the nine non-Ginebra players in the 15-man SEA Games pool.

Cone added that Olsen Racela, one of his Ginebra lieutenants, won’t join his Gilas staff so he could focus on his coaching duties for Far Eastern U in the UAAP.

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