SBP yet to decide on full-time Gilas Pilipinas coach

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 08 2020 02:31 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- TNT active consultant Mark Dickel remains the interim head coach of the Gilas Pilipinas national team, as the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) has yet to make a decision on who will hold the position in the long term.

Dickel, 43, was tapped as the interim coach of the national team last January, and he called the shots for the squad that routed Indonesia, 100-70, in the first window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers in February.

"Unless and until there is an announcement, siya ang interim head coach," SBP executive director Sonny Barrios said during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum on Tuesday.

"Towards the end of the year, there will be some decision on who is the permanent, quote-unquote, head coach," he added. "Pero maaring na-set back nga because of this COVID-19 interruption."

SBP president Al Panlilio is expected to meet with program director Tab Baldwin, along with Barrios and director of operations Butch Antonio, to discuss the next steps that the program will take.

"We have to set a meeting with Coach Tab to see how we can progress from there. Wala right now. Kailangan pa natin pag-usapan," Antonio said of the coaching search. "Kailangan pa pag-usapan ng SBP management."

The national team last competed on February 23, when a young squad anchored by brothers Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena crushed Indonesia on the road. 

They are expected to return to action in November for the second window of the qualifiers. Gilas Pilipinas is scheduled to play South Korea and Thailand in away games.

It remains to be seen if those games will push through as scheduled, however, given the global health crisis due to COVID-19.

"Over the next few weeks, baka magtanong tayo with FIBA Asia kung ano ang plano nila. Right now, it's still set in November," Antonio said. "Hindi pa natin ma-determine kung ano talaga, kung matutuloy tayo or hindi… Even FIBA is fluid."

"We have to be really flexible and adjust to whatever is given," he added. "Right now, there is still that November window. Until they say na it's actually postponed, we act as if it's still there."

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