Continuity lacking in Gilas program, says Tim Cone
Tim Cone
Continuity lacking in Gilas program, says Tim Cone
Luisa Morales ( - July 5, 2020 - 10:46am

MANILA, Philippines — Coach Tim Cone has handled the Philippine men's basketball team twice two decades apart, first in 1998 then again in 2019.

But if the Barangay Ginebra coach is asked whether he'll do it again, he might not agree to the same setup — serving as an interim mentor and only handling the squad for a single tournament.

"I'm not gonna try and do that again with the Gilas team in the Southeast Asian Games then," Cone said in the recent episode of Tiebreaker Vods' Coaches Unfiltered podcast.

"It was difficult because there was no continuity and so that to me is the biggest lack that we've had in our national program. It's the lack continuity," he said.

Cone explained that the absence of a long-term program and frequently changing coaches stymied development of a team and affected changes that should be made to create a better squad.

"Every time you change the coach, you have to start from zero. Pick the team, put the system together, and then go to the trial and error, is this the right system? Are we doing the right things? Are these the right players? Do I need to change them?," Cone said.

The 22-time PBA champion coach likened the effect of a long-term mentor and program to the success he enjoyed as a longtime head coach of the Alaska Aces in the PBA.

First clinching a championship in 1991, Cone went on to script a grand slam for the squad five years later.

The longetivity he had and the multiple coaching decisions he made throughout those years, gave him the tools he needed to lead the squad to the success they reached.

"I mean if we had stayed with the [Alaska] team in 1991, and kept that same team up to the 1996, there's no way we win a grandslam. We had to figure out that we need ot change personnel in '96, we did the same thing at Purefoods by the time we won the grand slam," Cone said.

Cone's Gilas Pilipinas squad in the Southeast Asian Games had won gold in the tournament via sweep, but the interim coach warned that without continuity to the program, other squads like Ex-Gilas coach Rajko Toroman's Indonesia will soon catch up to the Filipino cagers.

"They're gonna get better... and sooner or later, we're gonna get to a point where they're gonna reach their peak... It's time to change the system and now we go on to the next one, we're doing the same thing again," Cone said.

"That has been my big issue with the national team, we're not allowing teams to grow and get better," he added.

Since Toroman relinquished the reigns back in 2011, a total of nine coaches have handled Gilas Pilipinas in different tournaments -- including Cone and current interim coach Mark Dickel.

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Inc. has been on the hunt for the next head coach of Gilas Pilipnas. But the search has been stymied by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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