May 25, 2024

Paris? LA? Gilas Pilipinas' road to the Olympics begins in FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers, says Tim Cone

Paris? LA? Gilas Pilipinas
Gilas coach Tim Cone speaks to the media during a press conference held by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas. Photo (c) RM Chua/One Sports

The goal is clear for Gilas Pilipinas—-qualify for the Olympics.

As Gilas prepares for its upcoming assignments in the first window of the 2025 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers, coach Tim Cone emphasized that this will be the first step in achieving their goal.

“Our goal is to make the Olympics, whether in Paris (this year) or LA (Los Angeles) in four years,” Cone said in a press conference held by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas on Monday.

“We do that by qualifying via the OQT or being the best Asian team in the FIBA World Cup and to do that, we have to qualify for the World Cup and to do that, we have to qualify for the FIBA Asia Cup. It’s all a progression,” he added.

[ALSO READ: Guide to the FIBA Asia Cup 2025 Qualifiers]

Cone, who led Gilas to the Asian Games gold medal last year, explained that the current Gilas roster will be part of his four-year roadmap for the national team.

Among his first moves was to decide on the team’s permanent 12-man roster which Cone hopes will build chemistry the more they compete together.

Headlining the national team will be Justin Brownlee alongside mainstays like June Mar Fajardo, Scottie Thompson, Jamie Malonzo, Chris Newsome, CJ Perez, and Calvin Oftana.

Cone also infused youth into his program, with players like Dwight Ramos, AJ Edu, Kai Sotto, Carl Tamayo, and Kevin Quiambao joining the roster.

[ALSO READ: Tim Cone, LA Tenorio share glowing words for young Gilas Pilipinas core]

"I feel like I’m a caretaker of something very sacred being the head coach of Gilas. It’s something that I grew up with, I’ve seen, I’ve witnessed, I’ve been a part of in the past, I’ve watched it from 1998 all throughout the years, and I’m excited to be a part of it," said Cone.

“Everything is going to be important and precious to us because we do have limited time. Everything we do is, it has a purpose. And that's what we're really trying to impress on the players,” he added.

Gilas will look to start their road to the Olympics on a strong note as they face Hong Kong on the road on Thursday and Chinese-Taipei at home on Sunday.