Paris 2024 or LA 2028, Tim Cone wants Olympic stint for Gilas

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Gilas Pilipinas coach Tim Cone during a press conference on Monday.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—The vision is crystal clear for Gilas Pilipinas coach Tim Cone.

Back as the national team coach this time permanently, Cone said he has one goal in mind for Gilas.

“I’ve said this before. I think I’ve said this during the Asian Games. Our goal, in my mind, is to make the Olympics. That’s really our goal, to make the Olympics,” said Cone during a press conference on Monday before the team’s open practice at Philsports Arena in Pasig.

“Whether it be in Paris or L.A., in four or five years, our goal is to make the Olympics.”

READ: Tougher road to Paris for Gilas

The Philippines had a chance to qualify for Paris outright in last year’s Fiba World Cup but failed to do so after Japan finished as the best Asian team in the tournament. Gilas, meanwhile, had to settle for a slot in the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament after picking up a lone victory in the World Cup at the expense of China.

But instead of frowning upon a missed chance, Cone, who was the lead assistant coach to Chot Reyes during the World Cup, set his sights on the Olympic qualifiers which will be held in July in Latvia.

“We do that by either qualifying in Latvia or by being the best Asian team in the World Cup.”

Gilas Pilipinas Dwight Ramos

Gilas Pilipinas’ Dwight Ramos.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

The odds will be stacked against Gilas in the OQT but national team standout Dwight Ramos still likes the Philippines’ chances of making it to Paris.

“I didn’t play the last OQT and a lot of teams sent their top teams because it’s their last chance to make it to the Olympics but I think [now] we got a good chance,” said Ramos. “We’ve been practicing and we got this window to prepare a little bit. I think it’s really hard still but still looking forward to it.”

Gilas, however, can’t look too far ahead as it begins its campaign in the first window of the Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers in Hong Kong on Thursday before hosting Chinese Taipei on Sunday at Philsports Arena.



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