SEA Games: Gilas coach Cone wary of ‘much stronger’ Vietnam

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 06 2019 10:31 AM

Vietnam features some players with US experience, and that's something Tim Cone has taken note of ahead of their game Friday at MoA Arena. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines men's national basketball team looks to go 2-0 in the 30th Southeast Asian Games when it takes on Vietnam on Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.

Tipoff is scheduled at 8:15 p.m.

Gilas Pilipinas opened the tournament with a 110-58 demolition of Singapore, and the Filipinos are fancied to once again put on a show against Vietnam.

Head coach Tim Cone is not one for complacency, however, and indeed he is wary of Vietnam after watching that squad crush Myanmar, 131-52, on Wednesday.

"We scouted Vietnam against Myanmar, and they have six really good athletes on their team and they're gonna be a much stronger opponent, I think," said Cone.

He said he expects Vietnam to "be very, very tough," especially with the visitors featuring players who have previously seen action in the United States. Among those are Chris Dierker and Justin Young, who also helped Vietnam win bronze in the 3x3 competition earlier this week.

"Our big focus right now is Vietnam, we play them in two days and we're gonna try and get ready for them," Cone said Wednesday.

Expected to shine once more for the Philippines is Stanley Pringle, who scored 11 first quarter points against Singapore to set the tone for the rout. Also making his mark was Vic Manuel, who muscled his way inside the paint for 14 points in his Gilas debut.

A win over Vietnam will put the Philippines on top of Group A heading into a match against minnows Myanmar on Saturday.

For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.

2019 SEA Games