Guiao: Current Gilas setup ‘not sustainable’
MANILA, Philippines — The creation of the national basketball team has always been a touchy subject especially when it concerns the availability of players from the professional clubs.
Past editions of Gilas Pilipinas always relied on the PBA for help but things have changed a bit with the creation of a national team pool.
Young stars Thirdy Ravena, Isaac Go, Matt Nieto, Mike Nieto, Allyn Bulanadi, Rey Suerte, Jaydee Tungcab, Dwight Ramos, Juan Gomez de Liaño, and Javi Gomez de Liaño are part of the pool which is reminiscent of the original Gilas team formed in 2009.
Former Gilas coach Yung Guiao, however, said that the current model isn’t sustainable in the long run as players will eventually join the professional ranks.
“Let’s say you’re taking players and you’re looking forward to these players just playing for the national team, and they’re a separate group and separate from the players who are playing in the pro league, and they’re just for the national team’s purpose,” said Guiao in the Coaches Unfiltered podcast.
“I don’t think that’s sustainable.”
Go, Suerte, Bulanadi, and the Nieto brothers have already been drafted into the PBA although their respective clubs will only have them as part of their official rosters once their international duties have been completed.
Ravena, meanwhile, is signed with Japanese professional team San-en NeoPhoenix.
Gilas 1 also had the same scenario in 2011when the players signed up for the PBA Draft.
The setup of having collegiate players represent the Philippines in international competitions was done to prevent the disruption of the PBA schedule, but Gilas 1 did not last that long and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas eventually resorted to selecting professional players for the national team.
“At a certain point, you have to break up the team and these players are going to play for the pro teams anyway,” said Guiao. “It’s been done before, it has not been able to be long-term. You can do it one year or two years, but after that, you’re still going to break up and those guys will still wanna play on a pro league team and be part of a team where they will have a mother team.”
Guiao said that the best way is still for the PBA and the SBP to work together in building a national team as talent ultimately resides within the professional ranks.
“So it’s imperative for the PBA and the SBP to be able to cooperate and work hand-in-hand. If they cannot do that, we cannot send the best basketball team to the best tournaments abroad.”
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