Guiao to meet with PBA for Gilas composition in Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers
JAKARTA—There was little doubt that Yeng Guiao would be handling Gilas Pilipinas in the next window of the Fiba Asia World Cup qualifying next month, considering how well the Nationals performed in their first game in the 18th Asian Games here and with Chot Reyes to serve a one-game suspension.
The problem Guiao and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas are facing now is the composition of that team that will play the Iranians in Iran and then Qatar behind closed doors back home.
“We are getting a positive response from the PBA, but right now, we don’t want to think about that yet. Not until after the Asian Games,” SBP president Al Panlilio told the Inquirer here, hours after announcing Guiao as the new coach.
Gilas has manpower woes, to say the least, with 10 of its players getting varied multiple game suspensions as a result of the July 2 brawl with Australia in Bocaue, Bulacan.
Guiao will not have Andray Blatche playing against either Iran or the Qataris and in the next game, and Calvin Abueva is suspended for six games with RR Pogoy to serve out a five-game suspension.
“Coach Yeng will have to meet with the PBA regarding the players that he would want for those games,” Panlilio continued. “But what’s important is that the PBA is there for flag and country.”
Guiao was appointed as coach on short notice for this continental showcase and hastily assembled a squad headed by the core of the Rain or Shine team in the PBA.
This version of Gilas immediately played above expectations after plastering Kazakhstan, 96-59 in its first game, and a lot more is expected with Jordan Clarkson joining the team starting with the China match Tuesday.
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