Guiao believes Baldwin’s vision of full-time Nationals not sustainable
Former Gilas Pilipinas coach Yeng Guiao believes the plan to have players seeing action for the national team full-time isn’t a sustainable one, stressing that the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) and the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) should still work hand in hand to have the best players representing the country.
No stranger to international battles with two stints as national team coach, the NLEX taskmaster thinks it is imperative for the SBP and PBA to be on the same page with regards to the national team program.
Current Gilas Pilipinas director Tab Baldwin envisions a national team that will eventually become less reliant on the PBA in the latest reboot of the program, which is targeting a second-round appearance when the country cohosts the Fiba World Cup in 2023.
“The model we have right now, lets 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 are just for the national team’s purpose,” he said on “Coaches Unfiltered.”
“I don’t think that’s sustainable.”
It is not the first time that the model has been adopted, but the SBP still ended up tapping several PBA players to reinforce the Gilas program of then head coach Rajko Toroman almost 10 years ago. When coach Chot Reyes took over in 2013, the program once again relied on PBA players to represent the country, which saw the Philippines qualify for the World Cup in Spain the following year.
“At a certain point you have to break up that team and these players are going to play for the pro teams and you wait,” Guiao said.
“So 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 want to play a regular pro league team and be part of a team where they will have a mother team.”
Showing their support to the SBP program, the PBA held a special Gilas draft, which included Isaac Go (Columbian Dyip), Rey Suerte (Blackwater Elite), Matt Nieto (NLEX), Mike Nieto (Rain or Shine) as well as Allyn Bulanadi (Alaska), that have players being selected but are not allowed to play immediately in the PBA.
Only Nieto and Go made the 12-man lineup that walloped Indonesia,100-70, in February in a Fiba Asia Cup Qualifying match in Jakarta.
“I think it’s imperative for the SBP or the federation to work hand in hand with the PBA or the professional league,” Guiao said.
“If we’re not able to do that, we’re not going to be able to send the best players for the toughest tournaments outside [of the country].”
Guiao noted that “there is no national team in the world that is just a national team.”
“All of these teams all over the world, they will have to come out of their mother teams and form the national team,” said Guiao, who is also pushing for a pool of naturalized players to choose from should the need arises for the SBP. “All of these are playing pros and then they’re being called for the national team.”
Guiao said that model may be adopted in the youth teams, just like the Under-18 and Under-21 squads. “I think the only way you can do that is in the youth team when they still don’t have their mother teams,” he said. INQ
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