What can help Gilas Pilipinas get up?
He knew the monster would be waiting out there, but barehanded coach Yeng Guiao refused to be afraid.
He boldly dug in and led the gallant but feeble campaign.
That’s the best that can be said of the Gilas Pilipinas national basketball coach who has resigned after a tragic participation in the Fiba Basketball World Cup in China where it finished at the bottom.
Guiao did offer apologies, but the stinging criticisms repeatedly found the humbled target.
Of course, Guiao knew their China journey could never end triumphantly.
But Guiao clearly never expected crushing disaster.
The main thrust was to figure proudly in battle and do the country proud.
Philippine basketball instead suffered irreparable humiliation.
The ruling national basketball body explained Guiao should instead be commended and thanked.
Guiao took over the national team when it was down on the floor in shambles.
“Coach Guiao inherited the national team after it was almost wiped out following Fiba suspensions in the aftermath of a brawl between the Philippines and Australia in World Cup qualifier, even when odds were stacked against him,” said Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al. S Panlilio. “He took on the challenge and gave it his best shot.”
As things stand, there’s no clear new direction for Gilas Pilipinas.
There should be constructive shifts, maybe new structures in national basketball development.
Guiao has initially suggested longer training stints in Europe for a very tall national squad.
There’s no turning back. The Philippines will be hosting the next Fiba World Cup in 2023.
It’s a monumental challenge which should goad Philippine basketball to do great both on the global hard court and the hosting field.
Said Manny V. Pangilinan, SBP chair emeritus: “We need to supply to spectators and guests experience like never before, much pressure on our Gilas team which is good.”
MVP announced initial preparations for the 2023 conclave have begun, before the China World Cup could conclude.
Pray the challenge and pressure work wonders on poor, fallen Philippine basketball. It’s time to get up and shine.
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