No second thoughts
Yeng Guiao has walked away from the highlight of his career, thankful for the opportunity to coach Gilas Pilipinas and proud to have steered the Philippines back to the Fiba World Cup.
“I am as disappointed as the rest of the country,” Guiao said in a statement, referring to the debacle the Filipinos suffered at the hands of superior opposition in the 2019 edition still going on in various cities in China.
“Even if I had known from the beginning that this would be the end result of my decision to accept this coaching job, I would have had no second thoughts in making the same decision,” said Guiao, who also handled Jordan Clarkson in the Asian Games last year where the Filipinos finished fifth—their best in the last 16 years.
“I have no regrets in having taken the path I have taken in the past year; the only regret is that I would have wanted the team to have performed better on the world stage.”
Team Philippines wound up winless in five games, counting brutal beatings taken at the hands of European powers Italy and Serbia in Group D play in Foshan.
Guiao thanked his players and their families, most of all, for the sacrifices they put up as he was asked to take the country back to the World Cup in the aftermath of the ugly brawl with Australia more than a year ago in Bulacan.
“I take pride in having taken over the Gilas program at a point of crisis, where the team was decimated by the suspension of players and coaches after the Australian incident,” he said.
That incident left the National team in shambles and Guiao was able to make do with a team that literally took the backdoor to make it back to the global conclave.
“I am truly blessed to have coached the best that Philippine basketball has to offer and to have competed among the best in the world. I consider the past year, most especially our participation in the World Cup, as the highlight of my career.”
Guiao met with Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) chair and patron Manny V. Pangilinan, president Al Panlilio and Ricky Vargas hours after planing back on Monday.
His move also gives SBP officials a lot of time to find a new man in charge, since the country will cohost the next World Cup with Indonesia in 2023.
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