Loaded with Kings

September 26, 2019
Tim Cone and PBA and SBP officials
Coach Tim Cone and PBA and SBP officials announced the names of players who made it to the pool for the 30th SEA Games in December during a break in board meeting yesterday.

6 Ginebra mainstays make it to Gilas pool for SEA Games.

Gilas Pilipinas coach Tim Cone named a 15-man pool of veterans for the Southeast Asian Games, making six of his Barangay Ginebra stalwarts the core of the side he needs to whip into championship form in a short period of buildup.

Emerging from the PBA board of governors meeting Thursday, Cone said being familiar with his system, Gin Kings La Tenorio, Scottie Thompson, Stanley Pringle, Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar and Arthur dela Cruz will spearhead the Gilas five to the SEAG hoopsfest in December.

The grand slam-winning mentor also tapped seasoned players Jayson Castro, RR Pogoy, and Troy Rosario of TNT Katropa, Marcio Lassiter, Christian Standhardinger, Chris Ross, and June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel Beer, Vic Manuel of Alaska, and Matthew Wright of Phoenix to reinforce the Ginebra group.

Cone explained that he came out with the 15 names taking into consideration the limitation in preparation time. He said the pool will only have eight to 14 days of practices before the Dec. 4-11 competition.

"With limited practice, we don't have a whole lot of time to teach, time to try out and get a lot of the guys in, figure out who's it gonna be, we don't have time for that. So we narrowed it down and we try to come with the idea of maybe because of the short window we have, maybe we should go with a team I'm familiar with - Ginebra - get six of its players and reinforce it," said Cone.

The approach borrows a page from what the PBA did in the 1994 Asian Games, where the All-Filipino champ San Miguel Beer made up the core of Team Philippines with superstars from other teams like Johnny Abarrientos and Alvin Patrimonio beefing up the Norman Black-coached team.

"That's kind of the model we're working on and I don't have time to teach everybody. If I have a core group that already understands what we'd like to do in terms of system offensively and defensively then those players will help me coach the other players who will be added on," said Cone.

"So it's not gonna be really getting the best players to go; it's gonna be trying to create the best team we can get in a short period of time and be the most efficient team we can put together and I think that comes with the idea of having a core group that knows the system and adding in players to that core, upgrading the talent of that core," he added.

Cone said he decided to go with an all-veteran crew to speed up adjustment process.

"Generally, veterans are easier to teach than young guys," he said.

Upon his appointment to the post last Monday, Cone came up initially with a 50-man list, then had to narrow it down to 24.

After making a presentation before the PBA board Thursday, Cone then trimmed it further to 15.

The Gilas SEAG list will be submitted to the Philippine Olympic Committee to formalize the team's participation. Then right before the competition proper, Cone would have to decide on his Final 12