The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) is planning to hire a European coach for Gilas Pilipinas men’s basketball squad to adopt the style of international basketball for future overseas competition.
Thus said by SBP president Al Panlilio who admitted that it’s one of the options following the country’s forgettable performance in the recent International Basketball Federation (FIBA) World Cup in China.
“We want to go European, we need someone who knows the European system very well. That’s something, I think, is part of the assessment,” Panlilio told reporters in a news conference on Tuesday.
“The suggestion even of Coach Yeng (Guiao) is that we should adopt the European style of basketball, then we do need a European coach or at least somebody who knows European basketball.”
Gilas Pilipinas went home without a win in five games in the FIBA World Cup. They were beaten by Italy (62-108), Serbia (67-126) and Angola (81-84) in Group D of the preliminary round. In the classification phase, the Philippines lost to Tunisia (67-86) and Iran (75-95) to finish last at No. 32.
Gilas Pilipinas Yeng Guiao opted to resign after the tournament.
“We have to move [on] quickly. I don’t know if there’s a timetable. It might be a local coach, it might be a foreign coach,” added Panlilio.
This is not the first time SBP will hire a foreign coach if ever it pushes through. Serbian Rajko Toroman was hired by the SBP in 2009 while Tab Baldwin of New Zealand was tapped also as coach by Gilas Pilipinas in 2014.
He also said that they would start finding the next naturalized player to replace Andray Blatche for the 2023 tournament. But Panlilio said he would leave the decision to the new national coach whether he will use a new naturalized player or stick with Blatche again in 2023.
Meanwhile, SBP Chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan apologized to the basketball loving Filipino nation after the Gilas Pilipinas debacle in the recent 2019 FIBA World Cup in China.
Pangilinan and Panlilio, who also brought the FIBA hosting flag, said also during a news conference that they are focusing now on preparing for the 2023 hosting of World Cup together with Indonesia and Japan scheduled September 1 to 17.
“We would really like to express our apologies to the Filipino people. SBP was part of the program, was part of the decisions that led to the formation and performance of the team,” Pangilinan told reporters after arriving from Hong Kong at the Café Manila in NAIA Terminal 3 in Parañaque City.
“I think it is our duty to apologize to our people for that performance.”
After that terrible performance, the SBP, four years from now, wants to move on and focus on the hosting of the next World Cup. One of the major concerns they discussed was the transportation since they want to give participating teams comfortable accessibility from one venue to another.
The Philippines will be holding the quarterfinal and group stage games in Araneta Coliseum, Mall of Asia Arena and the Philippine Arena in Pasay City. Indonesia and Japan will be holding group stage games also.
“Planning starts now,” said Panlilio of the country’s hosting point of view.
“We sent a team there to observe the hosting. We wanted to start earlier but FIBA is very busy there. I think FIBA has also already indicated that there are some learnings about this format. We have adjustments as we move forward.”