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MANILA, Philippines – Yeng Guiao, who was supposed to coach the Asian Games-bound Gilas Pilipinas team, said he agreed with the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas’ (SBP) decision to withdraw from the Asian Games after failing to get the PBA players on his wish list who can reinforce the Rain or Shine core.
“I totally agree with the decision. As a coach, I want to bring the best team that I can bring given the circumstances,” Guiao told Rappler.
“I felt that even initially with the limitations, if I could get a few players, 3 or 4 players who can strengthen the core of the Rain or Shine team, we would have some chance of competing but that did not happen.”
In a meeting over dinner on Thursday, July 26, Guiao together with SBP chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan, SBP president Al Panlilio, SBP executive director Sonny Barrios, Gilas coach Chot Reyes and Rain or Shine head coach Caloy Garcia decided to focus on reorganizing the national team and finalizing the national federation’s appeal to FIBA after receiving the suspensions last July 19.
“I was just asking the group a while ago in the dinner: What do you expect us to do with this team? What kind of performance are you expecting from us now that we did not succeed in borrowing the other players from other teams?” recalled Guiao.
“So there was some thought about that and they said that if hindi rin tayo makakacompete seriously (if we wouldn’t be able to compete seriously), then let’s just focus on the next window of FIBA qualifiers and focus on our appeal on the FIBA decision.”
The SBP had to retool the roster as the original Asian Games lineup reinforced by the Talk ‘N Text core got depleted following the FIBA supension of 10 Gilas players, who all got involved in a bench-clearing brawl that erupted between the Philippines and Australia last July 2.
Asiad-bound players Terrence Romeo, Roger Pogoy, Troy Rosario, Jayson Castro and Andray Blatche were among the 10 players who got sanctioned.
Guiao was tapped to be the head coach of the national team composed of the Rain or Shine core last Tuesday, July 24.
The Philippines was initially slated to play its first game in the Asiad on August 16. – Rappler.com