FIBA WORLD CUP: Dawn of a new era for Gilas... Team Pilipinas

Paul Lintag on Sep 08, 2018 01:52 PM
Dawn of a new era for Gilas... Team Pilipinas
With recent developments in the national team, it appears that Gilas is no longer. It's just Team Pilipinas moving forward.

It's a new era for Gilas Pilipinas.

Wait, scratch that.

It's a new era for Team Pilipinas.

The Philippine national team has been infused with new life with head coach Yeng Guiao's takeover and the SMC stars actually in the lineup.

With this new development, it appears that Gilas is no longer. It's just Team Pilipinas moving forward.

"You know Gilas, that's in the past. It's time to change the image of Philippine basketball. Under coach Yeng's time, we want to be known as Team Pilipinas," veteran slotman Asi Taulavva declared.

"We want to go away with those monicker names and something like that. Everybody that came into this group, it's because coach Yeng asked. Coach Yeng wants to do something special. We want to help him and do whatever we can do to qualify for the next round," he added.

Yeng Guiao's return to the national team started in the 2018 Asian Games. Now he's up for the new window in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers which start next week with games against Iran and Qatar.

Much of the knock on the Gilas program is the fact that San Miguel players rarely joined the national team, except for some exceptions.

With most the "original" Gilas core suspended, the absence of SMC stars is no longer a problem, at least for the time being.

Once those suspensions are up though, it's reasonable to expect that the very best of that core will rejoin the national team, forming a Team Pilipinas squad that's actually made up of the best of the best.

And coach Yeng Guiao looks like he's the man to run a unified Philippine national team.

"As far as everything else, we want to play for coach Yeng," Taulava said.

"Last time I saw something like this was back in 2002, when all the players that were asked for were here. It's been so long but this is great for Philippine basketball. One man that can unite all the big bodies in the PBA -- the board, the SBP. That's coach Yeng," he added.

With Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Chairman Emeritus Manny Pangilinan hinting at a possible permanent job for coach Yeng for the national team, it appears that there's indeed a new era unfolding for Gilas Pilipinas.

Wait, scratch that.

"Remember, we’re team Pilipinas!" Asi declared.

 

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8

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