By Waylon Galvez
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel coach Tim Cone has yet to formally accept the offer of handling Gilas Pilipinas but understands that a possible stint will only be for the Southeast Asian Games.
“I understand fully that if I take the position it’s just a stop gap position,” Cone said shortly after Ginebra’s 102-83 win against Alaska in the PBA Governors’ Cup Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“The SEA Games is coming up quick and they need someone to step in and do it so it’s a one-and-done guy,” added Cone.
Cone has yet to formally accept the offer but is scheduled to meet with SBP President Al Panlilio to finalize details on the likelihood of assuming the role for the biennial meet.
Part of their discussion, according to Cone, is the make up of the national team coaching staff and players, though the SBP already has a 24-man pool composed of PBA and amateur players intended for the SEA Games and other international tournaments.
The American-born mentor last handled the national squad in 1998 when the Philippine Centennial Team settled for bronze in the Bangkok Asian Games.
Cone had initial discussions with Panlilio about the offer to coach Gilas in the SEA Games which the country will host from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.
“I understand that fully (coaching in the biennial meet SEA Games). This will give them time to put a search committee and find the guy they really wanted to coach in 2023 (FIBA World Cup here),” said Cone.
“I’m honored obviously that they thought about me,” he added.
While nothing is formal at the moment, the veteran mentor said that he already has the approval of San Miguel Corporation President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon S. Ang.
“I got the blessing of San Miguel (Corporation)… that’s obviously crucial. That (discussion) won’t happen without that (approval),” added Cone.
SMC sports director Alfrancis Chua said that Ang, whose company owns Ginebra, San Miguel Beer and Magnolia, is all out when it comes to supporting sports.
“Basta para sa bayan full support kami ng boss Ramon Ang ko,” said Chua in a text message to Manila Bulletin.