For Gilas Pilipinas coach Tim Cone, losing is not an option in the coming Southeast Asian Games.
Especially not on home soil.
"This is something we don't want to lose," said Cone after naming his 15-man pool for the country's title-retention bid in the December SEAG in Manila.
With the full backing of the board, Cone named Barangay Ginebra players La Tenorio, Scottie Thompson, Stanley Pringle, Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar and Arthur dela Cruz, comebacking Jayson Castro, RR Pogoy, Troy Rosario of TNT, June Mar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, Chris Ross, and Christian Standhardinger of San Miguel, Vic Manuel of Alaska and Matthew Wright of Phoenix to his SEAG pool.
The Gilas cagers expect challengers to go all out, led by Indonesia, a team coached by former Team Phl mentor Rajko Toroman and parading Denzel Bowles as naturalized player.
"This is our home territory, we're hosting, we want to make sure that our showcase sport (basketball) wins the gold medal and so we're gonna go really hard and try to figure out the best way to do this and do it well," said Cone.
"That's the goal."
Cone is on his second stint as national coach after previously calling the shots for the Philippine Centennial Team in 1998. That group fell short of the target and settled for the bronze at the Asian Games, though.
"I said before I've been there, done that but then I realized, I didn't really do it. I'm planning to do it this time," he said.
The PBA grand slam champion coach decided to go for a Ginebra nucleus and mixed with veteran players from other teams, taking into consideration the short period he has to get them adjusted to his system.
"I looked at all the different combinations and I really like what we can come up with," said Cone, who also looks forward to coaching some of the pool members for the first time like Fajardo.(OL)