Multi-titled Tim Cone will be armed with a new philosophy when he coaches Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup starting tomorrow at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The 64-year-old prized tactician said his experience with the Miami Heat in the previous National Basketball Association Summer League had been an eye-opener for him, giving him fresh insights that he could use in guiding the Kings to another title.
In particular, Cone gained valuable lessons on the defensive end since the Heat, under
Filipino-American mentor Erik Spoelstra, make a living on defense with stars like Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry and Bam Adebayo playing like hungry wolves.
“I mean significantly, the defensive side of the ball was eye-opening for me,” said Cone, who was known for putting premium on the Triangle Offense that led to a pair of grand slams.
“Miami has such a great reputation for being a great defensive team. Coach Spo (Spoelstra), he really focuses on that side of the ball. It was really eye-opening to see some of the stuff that they do and how hard they do it with such intensity.”
Aside from the lessons he gained from the Heat, Cone said his experience with Chot Reyes at Gilas Pilipinas is also a massive boost to his playbook.
“Offensively, they run a different system from the way we run,” Cone said.
“We’re trying to incorporate some of the things they did, some of the drills and also to learn from Gilas — watching Chot’s dribble-drive offense and the variations that he has. It’s very educational. It impacts the way you see the game and your approach.”
“Both these things are very great personally, for me, for my personal growth, and I’m taking it to Ginebra next conference.”
Cone said he tried to bring the inputs he had gotten from the Heat to Gilas Pilipinas when it battled Lebanon and Saudi Arabia in the fourth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
He said they tried to stop Lebanese hotshot Wael Arakji, but the was too good, too talented to get denied, torching the Filipinos with 24 points, including the game-winning trey that sealed their 85-81 victory.
The system, however, worked against the Saudis as Gilas Pilipinas held them to only 46 points — 18 coming from the second half.
“We tried to bring some of those defensive concepts against Lebanon. I thought we did a good job against Arakji. I thought we played with a lot of aggressiveness that we wanted,” he said.
“Then I thought it really showed up against Saudi Arabia. We held Saudi Arabia to just 20-something points and Saudi Arabia has been averaging 70 points and we shut them down.”
Cone, who remains a student of the game despite his league-best 24 titles, said he couldn’t wait to mentor the Kings, especially now that he is armed with fresh coaching ideas and newfound confidence.
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