‘Family first’ says Tim Cone as Scottie Thompson likely to miss SEA Games due to birth of child
MANILA, Philippines–Tim Cone, the Gilas Pilipinas deputy who also coaches Scottie Thompson at Barangay Ginebra, put into perspective his player’s potential absence from the national team that will be competing in the Southeast Asian Games this May.
“I think (they’re expecting) around the 8th or 10th of May, according to the OB [GYN]. It’s his first baby, too. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind playing, but can you imagine (Scottie’s) wife Jinky?” he told reporters with a chuckle.
The seasoned mentor even shared his own experience when his wife gave birth to their children to show how difficult it would be for the reigning PBA Most Valuable Player.
“I think the morning we had my first, we had a game in the night. But that was here in Manila, so there was no problem for me. My daughter was born in the morning and (through) caesarian, so mine’s different. All my kids were all done by caesarian, so they were all planned. I didn’t have a problem,” Cone said.
“But (Scottie and Jinky) are going to do a natural birth, so they don’t know exactly when it’s gonna happen. But the OB [GYN] said anytime between May 8th and 10th. So really right smack in the middle,” he added.
Gilas Pilipinas, who is looking to reclaim the gold medal in Cambodia, will open its campaign on May 9. The contingent, barring any changes, is expected to leave for Phnom Penh on May 6.
“Even if he goes and flies back and then comes back—I don’t know if that’s advisable either. But family first, man. It’s always family first. I know it’s country first. Though I think, even before, it’s God, family then country, right? So family first, what can we say?” Cone said.
A number of marquee names have begged off and scratched from the pool from which the Final 12 will be built. And without Thompson, national coach Chot Reyes will have one less playmaker—and a really skilled one at that—to lead the Filipinos’ mission.
Cone said the Gilas brain trust is not giving up on hope but they have been preparing for such an eventuality.
“We’ve been there before. I know I had to be around for my first(born) child,” Cone said.
“I’m sure (Scottie would have) loved to be in it, and we certainly love to have him. He transforms teams. The way he plays, I saw it, he transforms the character of a team,” he said.
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