More than its topnotch basketball skills, Gilas Pilipinas coach Tim Cone wants his Southeast Asian Games crew admired and remembered for the way it shows respect to the game and class against its opponents.
“It’s a real honor and pleasure to coach such a high-powered team but we wanna make sure we’re coming out and respecting the game, we’re playing the game the right way, we’re respecting our opponents,” Cone said after Gilas’ 110-58 rout of Singapore on opening night.
That means as they overwhelm their opponents with their boundless firepower, Cone’s charges aren’t bullying their preys with their attitude and talking thrash.
“You don’t see a lot of fooling around. We don’t want our guys fooling around. We talked about that; we’re not gonna thrash talk our opponents, we’re gonna try to play the game the right way.
“And what’s important for us is to represent the country (well). We want people going back to their respective homes and saying ‘wow, that team played with a lot of class’ and that’s really up in our minds,” he said.
But Gilas would be a monster on the court, shackling the main offensive threats on the other side.
“I love the way we started the game (against Singapore) when Chris Ross came out and blocked their star player Wong in their first possession. That kinda sent a message that we’re gonna play defense against them,” said Cone.