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2023 FIBA World Cup

Cone assures Chot: ‘I’m gonna have his back through thick and thin’

Tim Cone admitted being caught by surprise when Chot Reyes announced that the Ginebra mentor would become part of the Gilas Pilipinas’ coaching staff in an aim to build the best possible team for next year’s FIBA World Cup.

Reyes disclosed as much while delivering his acceptance speech after winning a record-extending sixth Virgilio ‘Baby’ Dalupan Coach of the Year in the PBA Press Corps Awards, Tuesday night at the Novotel Manila Araneta City.

“I don’t even know he’s going to announce it that night,” said Cone moments after the Barangay’s 83-75 win over NLEX in Philippine Cup action Wednesday night at the Mall of Asia Arena. “I was completely taken by surprise.”

The league’s winningest mentor with 24 championships did admit that he does not have any clue what exactly his role is going to be, but he’s nonetheless thrilled to be involved with the national team yet again.

Cone last handled the Filipino dribblers in the 30th Southeast Asian Games in Manila, where he led an all-PBA crew to a dominant sweep to the gold medal.SEAG-2019-Basketball-Philippines-Gilas-Mens-and-Womens-Gold Cone assures Chot: 'I'm gonna have his back through thick and thin' 2023 FIBA World Cup Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News PBA  - philippine sports news

“He hasn’t called me since, so I really don’t know anything that’s going on at this point. But I’m thrilled to be a part of it, I’m honored to be part of it. And I hope I can contribute in some way,” he said.

One thing that Cone very much looks forward to is the chance to see and even play against the best of the best in the global conclave to be hosted by the Philippines, together with neighbors Indonesia and Japan.

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“I’m extremely happy,” he said. “And completely honored to be a part of it. I don’t think there’s anything more thrilling than having the greatest coaches and players come to our shores and play basketball. And be a part of it.

“That is an amazing thing. Steve Kerr, you know, Erik Spoelstra, the Dream Team, the Spanish team, the Spanish coaches, Serbian coaches, they’re all gonna be here. That’s truly a thrilling thing to be a part of it. It’s incredible.”

And to be with Reyes once again makes it all the more exciting for Cone. It has been well-documented how deep their bond is, which all began in the late 1980s when they worked together in the Alaska franchise.

2021-SEA-Games-Basketball-Indonesia-vs-Gilas-Chot-Reyes Cone assures Chot: 'I'm gonna have his back through thick and thin' 2023 FIBA World Cup Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News PBA  - philippine sports news

(C) Jerome Ascano/POC-PSC Media Group

“I haven’t spoken to Coach Chot about what my role is gonna be, but I do know one thing: I’m gonna have his back,” the 64-year-old said. “And he knows it. I’m gonna have his back through thick and thin.

“We’ve worked multiple times together in the past, we know how well we get along, and we are of two different minds in the way we coach the game, so we’ll have a couple of different points of view,” he added.

“I’ll have my point of view wherever I can, but his word will be law and we will all follow it, I especially. Like I said, I’m gonna have his back, I think that’s what a head coach needs from his assistant more than anything else.”

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Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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