May 25, 2024

Tim Cone upset but unfazed by Gilas' near collapse vs Iran, shifts focus on China in Asian Games semifinals

Tim Cone upset but unfazed by Gilas
One Sports/Paolo del Rosario

Gilas Pilipinas coach Tim Cone didn’t hide his disappointment even after the team sealed a seat in the Asian Games 5x5 men’s basketball tournament.

Cone was upset over the fact that the Filipino dribblers ran out of steam and blew a 21-point lead in the fourth period against Iran.

Good thing Justin Brownlee and June Mar Fajardo made big shots down the stretch to help Gilas scrape past the post-Hamed Haddadi Iran team, 84-83.

“We’re gonna walk away from this game with a little sour taste in our mouths. We blew a 20-point lead,” Cone said after the match.

“Bottom line is, we found a way to win down the stretch. Justin made a big shot. Again that’s just Justin.”

Sour taste and all, Cone and company are moving on from this near collapse.

The seasoned mentor, tasked to lead the team in the regional meet at the last minute, said that late-game meltdown cannot happen again when Gilas faces revenge-seeking China in the semifinals on Wednesday.

Game time is set at 8 p.m.

“Obviously, it’s gonna be a big showdown against China. We’re gonna have to play a better fourth quarter against China,” Cone said.

“We gotta have to be a lot tighter all the way from minute 1 to minute 40. We wanna beat them.”

Cone is eager to help Gilas win a gold medal after failing to do so in the 1998 edition of the multi-sport spectacle.

But standing in the way will be the home team. And that will mean Gilas will have to play a near-perfect game. 

(With reports from Nic Earnshaw, One Sports)