Tim Cone pointed out Gilas Pilipinas’ incredible depth as a potential trump card that can get them over the top in the upcoming Seaba competition in Manila later this month.
Speaking to reporters after his Visayas All Stars lost to the newly formed Gilas squad, 112-125, Cone singled out his opponents’ depth as the reason for their come-from-behind win.
“They displayed more depth than we had. That’s what the Gilas team is going to have to have: a lot of depth; and they showed good depth,” said Cone, the current Ginebra coach.
“They got backups for every position and they’re all weapons. They just kind of wore us down with their weaponry,” added Cone, clearly referring to Calvin Abueva and Terrence Romeo who came off the bench and combined for 51 points.
Abueva in particular proved to be game-changer according to Cone, who admitted having difficulty finding a player from his team to match up with the dynamic 6-foot-2 forward.
“I made a coaching mistake: I didn’t recognize Calvin coming into the game in the third quarter and we didn’t have a good matchup for him, and he kind of changed the game around,” Cone said.
Cone also said that it helps to have a 6-foot-10 behemoth in the Gilas’ corner.
“Once they got the lead, they just focused on getting the ball to June Mar, and June Mar brought them home. It’s kind of the way San Miguel plays – down the stretch, get the ball to June Mar and he’ll make some plays for you.”
However, Cone believes that the national team is still a work in progress.
“They still got a lot of work. They got to work on their defense. They may have trouble with our pick-and-rolls early, but then they started switching.
But that’s not good enough in the long term; you’ve got to do more than just switch on pick-and-rolls. Other teams are going to figure that out in Fiba. I’m not sure in Seaba, but definitely in Fiba.”
“But they just got together. They’re still working on their defensive schemes and their main concern is getting the offense going, so the defense will come along.”
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