SEA Games: “Play it right,” says coach Tim as Gilas battles Myanmar

Paul Lintag on Dec 07, 2019 10:59 AM
“Play it right,” says Cone as Gilas battles Myanmar
“Again, we wanna respect our opponents. We wanna go out there and play hard, but we also don’t want to embarrass anybody, so we’re gonna be cognizant of that.” — Coach Tim Cone. (Photo by Richard Esguerra)

MANILA — A high-powered Gilas Pilipinas will end the prelims of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games Saturday against Myanmar and well... it could get a little out of hand.

For Myanmar that is.

In the last two times both countries met in basketball, the Philippines beat Myanmar by a combine 202 points.

Gilas Pilipinas beat Myanmar by 107 points in the 2017 SEABA Championships and the Philippines beat Myanmar again in the 2017 SEA Games by 95 points.

Not much is known about Myanmar for the 2019 SEA Games here but this 2019 Gilas team looks better than both of the 2017 squads that dominated the Burmese.

“Myanmar is not a basketball nation. So their team is not that strong. We recognize that,” Gilas head coach Tim Cone said.

“We just wanna make sure we go out there and play it right, you know, continue to create good habits because after that we play the semifinals,” he added.

Cone’s Gilas team is rolling to start the SEA Games here.

The Philippines started group play with a 52-point win against Singapore. Gilas followed that up with a 41-point victory against a good Vietnam team.

But even as Gilas is dominating, Cone is stressing that the national team should continue to develop good habits.

Teams like Thailand and Indonesia are still waiting. Even a rematch against Vietnam could be on the horizon and Vietnam did prove that they can play Gilas tough.

“We still have Indonesia with Rajko Toroman. Thailand, they’ve been beating up their opponents. They’re very dangerous,” Cone said.

“We don’t wanna lose our habits playing against Myanmar and create bad habits going in against Rajko Toroman because these teams are always super disciplined and they can beat you at their discipline,” he added.

After beating Myanmar by an average of 101 points in their previous outing, many are seeing another 100-point win for Gilas Pilipinas.

Coach Tim says they’re not gonna go for that. They’re simply going to go for a win, it only counts as one anyway regardless of the final margin.

“So we’re also not gonna try to run up the score. We’re not gonna try to impress anybody,” he said.

“Again, we wanna respect our opponents. We wanna go out there and play hard, but we also don’t want to embarrass anybody, so we’re gonna be cognizant of that,” Cone added.

 

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