PBA needs to sacrifice to help Gilas program says Yeng Guiao

Paul Kennedy Lintag on May 12, 2020 01:53 PM
PBA needs to sacrifice to help Gilas program says Guiao
The national team and the PBA will ultimately have to work on a compromise if the Philippines is to truly compete on the world stage. (Photo by Richard Esguerra)

With the release of the official dates for the 2023 FIBA World Cup, the official countdown just started for Gilas Pilipinas.

[Related: FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 to take place Aug 25 to Sept 10]

The Philippines will co-host the next World Championships with Japan and Indonesia, but the tournament's final phase will be played in Manila.

With three years to go, the Philippine national team is pretty much back at square one.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down sports worldwide, Gilas still has no official head coach in place. The players the program has in its pool are on the younger side as well.

Gilas has been targeting a full-time coach for a while now but former mentor Yeng Guiao believes that won't work if the new coach will have no full-time players.

"Kahit full-time yung coach and the players are not full-time, it's the same thing. If you can have full-time coaches and full-time players, that would be the best arrangement," Coach Yeng said during a webinar with Blackwater's Ariel Vanguardia for Hoops Coaches International.

"But remember, you cannot get the best players that way, because our best players are still going to be playing in the PBA. That goes for any league, or any national team. Their best players play in their professional leagues," he added.

Having the best players available for Gilas Pilipinas has been one of the enduring problems for the national team.

However, the more pressing issue is time. Gilas Pilipinas simply needs time to build a team in order to win in international tournaments.

The national team and the PBA will ultimately have to work on a compromise if the Philippines is to truly compete on the world stage.

"The PBA will have to make that sacrifice," Guiao said.

"At a certain level, maybe you can use the younger players. But if you're really serious about winning, the level of play is at least Asian level, I think you should send your best team," he added.

The PBA still currently has a three-conference set and the league has altered its schedule to accomodate Gilas Pilipinas, especially when qualifying tournaments for major FIBA competitions have been divided into multiple windows.

That has caused the last two PBA seasons to go past a full year each time.

Moving forward, Guiao is suggesting that the PBA can shorten its schedule, at least during years where major international tournaments are taking place.

"You just have to make arrangements, siguro itong nangyari ngayon with the quarantine, if you can play just one conference, they we do one conference during a World Cup year or an Olympics year," Guiao said.

"Maybe during the Asian Games year you play just two conferences, just to give the national team a few more weeks or months to be together. It's really cooperation, everyone needs to commit to the objective of the national team. We have always been ill-prepared or just did not have the luxury of time together," he added.


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