No egos clash in Gilas PH Stellar Bench

Together, the top three Gilas Pilipinas coaches have 42 Philippine Basketball Association titles.

Tim Cone, Barangay Ginebra’s coach who sits as Chot Reyes’ assistant on the national team bench, represents a record 24 of these championships.

But there’s no danger of Reyes losing his grip as Gilas Pilipinas’ chief decision maker, even if one assistant has almost three times his trophy count and another – Jong Uichico – who has as many titles as him.

“We all get along extremely well,” Cone said. “Jong is super humble. He reminds me a bit [Miami Heat coach] Erik Spoelstra, how humble he is. So we get along really well. I’m not the kind of guy who wants to put my stamp on things. I’m all set to take the background and sit in the back.

“We worked together in the last window. We don’t try to outdo ourselves. We just play our roles. We do our job and we surrender to each other,” Uichico said.

The respect shared by the three is well established that there is no need to draw lines or put limits around their tasks.

“There really aren’t any specific roles designated [in Gilas coaching staff]. It just comes,” Uichico explained. “Coach Tim is more or less in charge of defence. I’m in charge of scouting. Josh [Reyes] is responsible for the violation. Then, of course, the Chot trainer is more global. Without saying, we arrive at our roles by going with the flow. We just fill in the places where we think we can help.

Chot’s team

“I don’t have to be the driver,” Cone said. “I ride a lot with Ginebra and that’s already a lot. I am very happy to stand back and lend my support whenever I can. So I think it works. It’s not just the three of us trying to be the man. Were not. Jong is super humble and will never try to be the man. I’m also not the kind of guy who’s going to try that stuff. It really is Chot’s team. We’ll just support him.

Gilas Pilipinas faced Jordan at midnight on Friday and is also set to face Saudi Arabia next in the current window of the Fiba (International Basketball Federation) World Cup Asian qualifiers.

[M]y contribution is probably more defensive. I’m proud of our own defense at Ginebra over the years,” Cone said.

“A lot of people think I’m the old one and everyone learns from me, but no, I’m the one learning from them, really.”

Smart, a global partner of Fiba, will once again stream the windows live on its GigaPlay app, available for IOS and Android. The stream will provide fans with additional ways to watch qualifying matches and is powered by what has been recognized as the fastest mobile network in the country.

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