For the first time since Coach Yeng Guiao handled Gilas Pilipinas back in 2019, the public got to watch a practice of Gilas Pilipinas.
Twelve days before the 19th Asian Games, fans were able to witness a practice session and interact with the players at the Philsports Arena.
“One of the things we are trying to do is make the fans a part of what we are trying to achieve,” said Cone.
“We are playing for you, and we want you to know that.”
But it was not just the men’s team that was present during the session.
Since the 30th Southeast Asian Games, Cone had developed a fondness for Patrick Aquino’s team, bringing them along both in the celebration of their double gold triumph in Manila back in 2019 and their journey in Phnom Penh, Cambodia three years later.
“The women are kindred spirits. They were with us in 2019 during the Southeast Asian Games and in 2023 in Cambodia. And now, we are going to be together at the Asian Games. This is their first Asian Games,” said Cone, as Gilas Women will be making their first Asiad appearance since 1998, the first in the Patrick Aquino era.
“We would like to express our gratitude to Coach Tim for doing this for us. Also to the SBP and the fans, thank you. We are hoping that they will also get to know our Gilas Women’s team,” expressed Aquino.
After the session, Gilas team manager Alfrancis Chua organized a contest with five fans in a shootout competition.
Cone hopes that more fans will attend the tune-up match, which will feature Gilas Men against Changwon LG at the same venue on September 22.