PBA All-Star coach Tim Cone is not treating the annual event as a mere exhibition game against the Gilas, but rather as a tune up for the National team to help them prepare for a tough assignment when they collide with the world's best in the FIBA World Cup in Spain on August this year.
With this, Cone said he intends to throw a mixture of the European style of offense and a bit of his patented triangle system as he tries to help Gilas Pilipinas prepare for the World Cup and also the Asian Games this year.
“One of the things we want to do is run some offense that will be used against Gilas at the World Cup,” Cone told mediamen during Thursday’s press conference at the Mall of Asia Arena, marking the start of the PBA All-Star Week.
"We’ll work on some things that they’ll probably see in Spain, some of the European stuff that’s very popular,” he added.
All San Mig Line-up
However, Cone said since he has four of his San Mig players in the All-Star lineup led by James Yap, Joe Devance, Mark Barroca and Peter June Simon, as well as Calvin Abueva and Sonny Thoss, whose Alaska squad also runs the triangle offense, the multi-titled PBA coach will try to run the triangle offense as well.
Last year’s edition of the midseason classic saw Gilas Pilipinas engage the PBA All-Star team in a 124-124 standoff behind Jeff Chan’s buzzer-beating three-point shot.
“I hope we don’t given them (Gilas) 124 points this time around. Last time kind of shocked them, but since then, they’ve had a year together after going together for the (Fiba-Asia) wars,” explained Cone.
The American mentor, who became the all-time most successful coach after steering the Mixers to the Philippine Cup for his 16th PBA title, expects the Sunday match against Gilas to be defensive in nature.
“We’re gonna try to compete and challenge them and make them (Gilas) better. We’ll defend and make it tough for them and hopefully, it will help them get better,” he added.
Pingris ready for the tough fight
Gilas Pilipinas' heart-and-soul Marc Pingris, who plays for San Mig, believes the national squad is capable of giving the All-Stars a run for their money after learning to play together for the past year.
“Ngayon, yung samahan namin okay na rin. Nakakahiya rin na ang uniform namin may Pilipinas kung matalo kami,” said Pingris, one of Gilas coach Chot Reyes’ energy guys during last year’s Fiba-Asia cage joust in Manila.
“Pero seryoso kami a larong ito, dahil gusto naming makuha yung P100,000,” he added, in jest, referring to the P100,000 cash pot that the PBA board will be awarding to the winner.
With how Cone is treating the annual event, expect both teams to strat all their might for the PBA paying fans.
--- with reports from Spin.ph
Coach Tim Cone treating the 2014 PBA All-Star as a mere tune-up game, not an exhibition
Reviewed by Jay-R Bayon-on