Cone announces SEA Games 15-man pool
A core of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel players under the tutelage of coach Tim Cone will be comprising the 15-man national pool for this year’s 30th Southeast Asian Games that kicks off on November 30 to December 11 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Cone said the Philippine men’s basketball team would beef up with an all-professional line-up, including six Ginebra players led by the seven-footer Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar, Scottie Thompson, LA Tenorio, Stanley Pringle and Art Dela Cruz.
Time constraint is the main reason why Cone decided to put up a group of professional players without selecting any players from the amateur side like Kobe Paras, Ricci Rivero, Isaac Go and Thirdy Ravena, among others.
The other Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) players were San Miguel Beer’s June Mar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, Chris Ross and Christian Standhardinger, TNT Katropa’s Roger Pogoy, Jayson Castro and Troy Rosario, Alaska’s Vic Manuel and Phoenix’s Matthew Wright.
“With limited practice, we don’t have time to teach and we don’t have a time to try out and get a lot of guys in and figure out who is going to be. We just don’t have that time,” Cone told reporters in a news conference on Thursday after the board of governors’ meeting at the PBA office in Libis, Quezon City.
Cone, who holds the most number of PBA titles with 21 as coach highlighted by two grand slams, added that they could not afford to be beaten up by their Southeast Asian counterparts in the biennial meet that’s why they selected the best professional talent available.
“We don’t want to lose this one. This is our home court. This is not the best talent, but we are trying to be the best team that we can,” added Cone, who will be coaching the Philippine squad for the second time after leading the 1998 Philippine Centennial team to bronze medal finish in Bangkok Asian Games.
“We decided to go with a veteran group, again because generally veterans are easier to coach short-term. They pick up things faster than the young guys. This is all about speed and efficiency that we’re trying to do,” he said.
Naturalized player Andray Blatche will not be joining the SEA Games Philippine team but Cone did not give any specific details about it, saying it was the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) that could answer the question.
The Philippine men’s basketball team or Gilas Pilipinas will begin its practice every Monday starting September 30 until before the tournament begins.
Meanwhile, SBP President Al Panlilio divulged the Philippine men’s 3X3 basketball pool for the SEA Games composed also of all-pro headed by Anthony Semerad, CJ Perez, Jason Perkins, Robert Bolick, Terrence Romeo, Ian Sangalang, Mac Belo, Raymond Almazan, Mo Tautuaa and Baser Amer.
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