MANILA, Philippines -- Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) may tap a foreign coach to take charge of the Philippine national basketball team, following the resignation of coach Yeng Guiao.
Guiao stepped down from the post after Gilas Pilipinas went winless in five games in the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China. Among their losses were blowouts to Italy and Serbia, and a 20-point defeat to Asian rival Iran in their last game.
Upon their arrival from China on Tuesday morning, SBP officials acknowledged that they have yet to put together a shortlist of coaches to take Guiao's place.
"Kailangan pag-usapan," said SBP chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan, who received the FIBA flag to signify China's turnover of hosting duties to the Philippines, Indonesia, and Japan last Sunday in Beijing.
According to SBP president Al Panlilio, the new Gilas coach will have to be identified "quickly."
"I don't know whether there's a timetable. We'll have to do a search, if ever for the new coach. Might be a local coach, or it might be a foreign coach," he said.
Selecting a foreign coach makes sense to Panlilio, especially after seeing the recommendations made by Guiao in the wake of their dismal performance in the World Cup. The coach had suggested taking notes from European teams, who were the most successful in the tournament.
Spain captured the gold medal over Argentina, while France took the bronze.
"If we wanna go European, we need somebody who knows the European system very well," said Panlilio. "That's something I think that is part of the assessment."
"If the suggestion of Coach Yeng… that we should adopt the European style of basketball, then we do need a European coach, or at least somebody who knows European basketball," he added.
Panlilio did not specify any names, but he stressed that "everybody's under assessment."
He even jokingly agreed that Serbia's outgoing coach, Sasha Djordjevic, may be under consideration. Djordjevic's team beat the Philippines, 126-67, in group play in Foshan, after which he suggested that Gilas Pilipinas "lacked quality."
Serbia got bounced from the quarterfinals by Argentina and settled for fifth place and Djordjevic resigned afterward as it was a subpar finish for a team that was expected to win the whole tournament.
"Pwede rin," Panlilio said when Djordjevic's name was brought up, in jest. "We have no quality daw eh, so maybe he can put some quality in our program."
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