SEA Games: Cone wants Gilas to 'take pride in defense'

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 22 2019 12:06 AM

Coach Tim Cone gives instructions to Gilas Pilipinas. File photo. Josh Albelda, ABS-CBN Sports.

MANILA, Philippines -- Gilas Pilipinas began working on its defensive schemes on Monday night, with head coach Tim Cone stressing that the team should be on the same page when it comes to that side of the ball.

"I really want our guys to be thinking defense, I want our guys to be talking about defense, and I want them to take pride in defense," Cone said after their regular weekly practice at the Meralco Gym.

When he took over the national team for the Southeast Asian Games, Cone made it clear that he was not too worried about their scoring.

He had put together a pool that included five-time MVP June Mar Fajardo, Jayson Castro, and the core of Barangay Ginebra, Cone knew immediately that "offense is not a problem" for the team.

"I think I can roll the ball out, close my eyes, pick out five guys from a hat, throw them out there and they're gonna be great offensively," Cone said last month, after the team's first practice.

But he wanted them to become a great defensive squad, and they began working toward that goal on Monday night.

"Like I said before, we have great offensive players, and they're also great athletes, and the really great defensive players are athletes," said Cone.

"So if we can get them thinking defense, and using their athleticism for defense, I think we can put a really good product together out there," he added.

All 15 members of the national team pool attended practice on Monday night.

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2019 SEA Games