Straight from Coach Tim himself.
“If coach Chot [Reyes] goes, I go.”
These were the words uttered by Gilas Pilipinas assistant coach Tim Cone before their classification game against South Sudan at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Amidst comments made online suggesting that Cone should take over the head coaching job, he was adamant in saying he does not want it.
“Some assistant coaches come into a team believing that they will get their chance to be the head coach someday but that’s not me,” Cone said inside the team dugout. “I’m here to serve at Coach Chot’s pleasure. I’m only here to support him because I believe in him.”
With two more games remaining in their FIBA World Cup campaign and the Asian Games quickly approaching, Cone still has full confidence in Reyes.
“I’ve been with this program for a year now and I really believe that he is still the best man for the job. I think the steps he has taken are correct and we’ve never really been out of any game. You know it’s hard to win in the World Cup because you’re going up against great teams,” Cone said.
After their game against Italy, Cone, who usually does not say much in post-game huddles spoke ahead of Reyes.
“You guys played one hell of a game,” Cone told the players. “And Coach Chot was amazing tonight, Italy just shot the ball a little bit better but that’s basketball.”
Remembering that moment, Cone said it was an important step forward for the team.
“I think that postgame affected coach Chot because he saw the support from the team. Kiefer [Ravena] spoke up and Japeth [Aguilar] spoke up and told Coach Chot to lead the way,” Cone expounded. “We all try not to be affected by negative comments on social media. Even I stay away from it when Ginebra loses but of course, we’re aware it’s there. So it was important for the team to show our head coach that they still support him.”
“I think the reaction to Chot has been unfair,” Cone stated. “If you have 12 coaches in a room, they will coach any game 12 different ways. In the Philippines, you have 110 million coaches, who will all have opinions but being an assistant coach here, but I’m the one who sees it up close and I think he’s done a great job.”