Tim Cone gives under-fire Chot Reyes a vote of confidence: 'Continuity is most important thing'
San Mig coach Tim Cone has given Gilas coach Chot Reyes his backing at a time when calls for his resignation have mounted in the wake of the failed Asian Games campaign. Jerome Ascano

THE man who not a few believe should be given the chance to assume the Gilas Pilipinas coaching job just gave under-fire Chot Reyes a vote of confidence.

As the pressure mounted on the Gilas coach after failure to make the medal round of the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, Tim Cone said he still believed Reyes is the right man for the national team job.

"I just want to say from the heart, I truly believe in @coachot & the program. He's the right guy & the program will bring us to next level," Cone tweeted, just moments after a 67-65 win over Kazakhstan proved not enough to take Gilas to the crossover semifinals under the quotient system.

Pressed to expound by Spin.ph, Cone said: "Truly, I think Chot is the man for the job. His style really fits the international game, plus he will do it full time and that's a key component. I believe the national team coach has to be full-time."

[See Gilas beats Kazakhstan but margin of victory not enough to take it to Asiad semis]

Cone led the Philippine Centennial Team to a bronze medal finish in the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok in his only stint with the national team, but his name started to be floated around after he led San Mig to four successive PBA championships including a grand slam this season.

The calls grew louder in the wake of the failed gold-medal campaign in Incheon, which saw Gilas fade badly in losses to Iran and South Korea and Reyes launch a stunning tirade against naturalized player Marcus Douthit after a costly defeat to Qatar.

However, Cone told Spin.ph continuity is the most important aspect of the program - something that will be lost in the event the national team program is turned over to a new coach.

"The continuity is the most important aspect of the program in my opinion, not the winning or losing," Cone said in a message from Incheon where San Mig is playing in a series of tuneup games.

"The continuity will reward us over time. We need to let the program develop," he added.

[See As calls for his ouster grows, Chot Reyes says he's leaving fate to management]

Follow the writer on Twitter: @spinph