Mark Dickel to call shots for Gilas Pilipinas

MANILA, Philippines – Mark Dickel will call the shots for Gilas Pilipinas for the meantime after he was appointed interim coach for the first window of the home-and-away FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers. 

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) announced the appointment on Wednesday, January 29 – less than a month before the Philippines faces Thailand and Indonesia on February 20 and 23, respectively. 

Dickel currently serves as a coaching consultant for TNT and has been crucial for the KaTropa in their recent success in the PBA. 

Since Dickel joined TNT in 2018, the KaTropa ended a two-year finals drought last year and have emerged as top contender for the upcoming season. 

"In his short stint in the Philippines, coach Mark has performed creditably well," said SBP chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan in a statement. 

Dickel is not a stranger to the international scene, having represented New Zealand in the 2000 and 2004 Olympics as a player and having coached Albania from 2010 until 2011. 

"We all know what he did to help TNT in such a short span and we're confident he can also move things quickly as we prepare for the first window this February," Pangilinan added of Dickel.

Dickel is expected to lead the selection process of the final lineup from the 24-man pool, which includes TNT players Roger Pogoy, Troy Rosario, and Ray Parks.

The SBP said it intends to announce a full-time head coach before the second window in November. –

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.