Castro, Fajardo, Gilas siguradong gold
KUMPIYANSA si Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Commissioner Ramon Fernandez na masisilo ng Team Philippines at newly-appointed national coach Tim Cone ang medalyang ginto sa basketball competition sa 30th Southeast Asian Games.
Miyembro si Fernandez ng national team nang mag-silver sila sa Asian Games noong 1990 Beijing, naniniwala itong masisilo ng Pilipinas ang 18th overall men’s SEA Games basketball title sapul noong 1977.
Didribol ang men’s basketball competition December 1-10 sa Mall of Asia Arena sa Pasay City.
“He (Cone) knows what it takes to win in the Southeast Asian Games. It can be done with an all-pro lineup and even with a mix of collegiate stars,” saad ni Fernandez, four-time Philippine Basketball Association Most Valuable Player.
Binuo ni Cone ang Gilas Pilipinas 15-man SEA Games pool nakaraan lamang, anim na Barangay Ginebra San Miguel players — Japeth Aguilar, Greg Slaughter, Scottie Thompson, LA Tenorio, Art Dela Cruz at Stanley Pringle.
Ang ibang napili ay sina June Mar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, Chris Ross, Christian Standhardinger, Roger Pogoy, Troy Rosario, Jayson Castro, Vic Manuel at Matthew Wright.
“We don’t want to lose this one. This is our home court. This is not the best talent, but we are trying to be the best team that we can,” hayag ni Cone, ang winningest Philippine Basketball Association coach na may 21 titles kasama ang grand slam crowns noong 1996 at 2013.
“We decided to go with a veteran group, again because generally veterans are easier to coach short-term. They pick up things faster than the young guys. This is all about speed and efficiency that we’re trying to do,” dagdag pa ni Cone. (Elech Dawa)