SAN Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone said the Gilas Pilipinas coaching staff is loaded with “brilliant minds,” but he is more than willing to help the national team in anyway and in whatever capacity ahead of the Fiba-Asia men’s championship this August.
Cone, coach of the all-pro Philippine Centennial Team in the 1998 Asian Games, said he had an informal talk with Gilas coach Chot Reyes on how he could possibly help the team when they bumped into each other during the opening of SM Aura in Taguig City.
“Nothing formal with coach Chot when we talked at SM Aura’s opening. But maybe just coming in and provide fresh eyes, though we didn’t talk about roles or anything,” Cone told Spin.ph.
The 55-year-old American believes Reyes is up to the challenge, especially after surrounding himself with some of the best local coaches in the land led by former national coaches Norman Black of Talk ‘N Text and Jong Uichico as well as Ryan Gregorio, both of Meralco.
But if his services is needed, Cone said Gilas can count on him.
“Of course, that will be completely up to him (Reyes’ decision to tap his services)," said Cone, who had Reyes as his chief assistant in the 1998 team that won a bronze in the Asian Games in Bangkok.
"But he’s a brilliant coach and he knows what he’s doing. He’s got a great staff too. But for me, I’ll be happy to do it and help him,” added Cone.
Cone said the challenge of finishing in the top three in this August’s Fiba-Asia men’s championship would be far more challenging because of the rise of Middle East teams like Iran, Jordan and Lebanon.
“Back in 1998, we were more worried about China and South Korea. But now, the Middle Eastern teams have grown leaps and bounds. These teams (from the Middle East) have gotten more sophisticated,” he said.
“They now know the game because they’ve got coaches who are teaching them the game,” added the multi-titled PBA coach.