Tim Cone, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA)'s most accomplished coach, will serve as head coach of the men's national basketball team Gilas Pilipinas for the upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou, China later this month.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas made the announcement during a press conference at the PBA office in Quezon City on Sept. 7.
San Miguel Corporation Sports Director Alfrancis Chua will serve as team manager and PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial the deputy manager.
Speaking to the media, Cone, who is also the Gilas Pilipinas assistant head coach at the ongoing FIBA Basketball World Cup, said that he promised he would turn down a head coach position with Gilas if Chot Reyes resigned. Reyes on Saturday stepped down from his post following the national team's 1-4 campaign.
"But given the time frame, only two weeks before we play, when coach Al (Chua) spoke to me, we needed someone right now. I talked to Chot, and he gave me his blessing. He told me he thought I was the best guy for the job so that's given me a lot of confidence," he said.
Cone last served as Gilas Pilipinas head coach during the Philippine-hosted 2019 Southeast Asian Games, during which the country bagged the gold.
In 1998, he also led the so-called "centennial team" that won the bronze medal during the Asian Games in Thailand.
As PBA coach, Cone has 25 titles under his belt, including two grand slams, and four coach of the year awards from over 1,000 wins.
The 2023 Asian Games will take place starting Sept. 23, with the basketball games happening three days later.