By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) just appointed Barangay Ginebra San Miguel chief tactician Tim Cone as the head coach of the Gilas Pilipinas men’s national basketball team.
SBP made the final announcement last January 29, 2024, during a graphic social media post on their official Facebook account.
Cone will immediately be tested this February as he will be calling the shots for Gilas Pilipinas in the upcoming 2025 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.
After steering the national team to the championship titles during the 19th Asian Games and the 2023 Southeast Asian Games, SBP president Al Panlilio and his staff said that Cone is the man suitable for the job.
However, the SBP is yet to confirm if Cone will be the national team’s permanent head coach for the rest of the international competing calendar at the FIBA level.
Backstopping Cone in the revamped Gilas Pilipinas squad is his long-time deputy Richard del Rosario who will serve as their team manager.
Cone and the rest of his staff will be expected to hold Gilas’ first phase of training camp as the 2025 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers will already kick off this late February.
Aside from Cone’s appointment as the team’s head coach, the SBP also unveiled its 12-man lineup that is expected to compete in the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.
Leading the cast are holdovers from Gilas’ FIBA World Cup team June Mar Fajardo, Scottie Thompson, Dwight Ramos, AJ Edu, Kai Sotto, Jamie Malonzo, and CJ Perez.
Also returning to the national team are Justin Brownlee, Calvin Oftana, Kevin Quiambao, Chris Newsome, and Carl Tamayo.