This is the problem of your average Gilas Pilipinas coach.
Setback after setback.
I guess their approach here was “Get the players you want and we’ll try to give them to you.”
This is the “fake it, ‘til we make it” mindset.
Elizabeth Holmes once had this and I guess most Ponzi schemers have this as well. They initially had the best of intentions but when the rest of the world discovered the ruse, they just faltered.
Maybe comparing Gilas Pilipinas to Theranos is a bad idea, but we basically have a roster we wanted but not the roster we needed.
Tim Cone wanted a grocery list of Gilas essentials and he wanted the best players. Calvin Abueva, Jason Perkins, Mo Tautuaa, and Terrence Romeo are the players that he wanted but the Asian Games committee wants nothing to do with them. What we needed was the 60-man list Chot Reyes submitted.
The thing about this is the Philippines had 60 names on their list and Cone freestyled on another four. Like or hate China but 60 is five times the number of the normal 12-man lineup... so why on earth would they need four more?
Furthermore, has Abueva been forgiven for all the roughhousing he did during the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship? I bet the China organizers saw his name and figured out his playing history against them.
So, we will have potentially an eight-to-ten-man lineup of battered and bruised players.
Again, what a pakyu moment for Coach Chot Reyes.
As mentioned in my previous blogs, Chot Reyes is far from the dumbass online haters are calling him. Yes, his coaching techniques have flaws but it’s not like he can’t strategize when the going gets tough. Reyes is a 9-time PBA champion and a 6-time Coach of the Year winner. Yes, Tim Cone is better than him but obviously, Chot knows the ins and outs of the international basketball scene. For most of his tenure, we have him searching for naturalized players, securing the passports of certain individuals, and asking the international players to lend them a hand. At the moment, Cone can’t get most of the Gilas World Cuppers because most of them are playing in Korea and Japan, and he’s probably scouring for what remains on the 60-man list.
And who knew CJ Perez would get extremely salty from getting benched in the World Cup?
Is Justine Baltazar on the said list?
This is the main problem of Cone as well as whoever was getting the keys to the proverbial Gilas car. Not even Tab Baldwin and Rajko Toroman or any coach for that matter can handle this. Because of the events that transpired in the World Cup, Chot Reyes basically took himself out of the Gilas' duties so he could have peace of mind. The problem is, that he left the ruins with less than a month of Asian Games preparation.
While the fans are bashing the coach, who amongst the other players is staying loyal to him?
Also, Alfrancis Chua is now the Gilas team manager. Like him or hate him again, but most of his moves as SMC sports director are positive. With that said, he is fairly new to the whole international scene and may have thought that choosing a 12-man lineup is just that simple. Again, the 60-man list needs to be seen because the list might probably have the likes of Jaybee Tungcab, Kib Montalbo, and Carl Bryan Cruz in it. Yes, these are second-string MVP players but they are also needed more than ever so you’d think they’ll just pop on the practices.
And I guess the open practices are a bad idea because the last thing China wants is to have their rival create a formidable roster. It would be harder for China to win with Kyle Anderson back in the NBA and with Justin Brownlee and Angelo Kouame leading Gilas. It would also be embarrassing for Gilas to play the Changwon LG Sakers with a "formidable" unit that is also restricted for Asian Games gameplay.
Most of the netizens think that the best way for Gilas to get away from this is to boycott the China games. Again, these games have political ramifications as well as China being salty about what Gilas Pilipinas did to them. This could impact the FIBA Asia Cup, a tournament that may have lost its luster but a major rankings boost if done right, and the FIBA World Cup qualifiers shortly.
Hopefully, Tim Cone gets the players he wants, and if he can’t, gets help from the players he needs.