Nenad Vucinic to coach Gilas Pilipinas for Fiba qualifying third window
MANILA, Philippines — Nenad Vucinic will call the shots for Gilas Pilipinas only for one window in the 2023 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers.
The Philippine men’s basketball team manager Butch Antonio that Vucinic, who has been Chot Reyes’ assistant on the national team since February, will handle the collegiate-laden squad for the third window.
Vucinic, a former New Zealand national team head coach, will face his former squad, the Tall Blacks, on June 30 in Auckland before Gilas Pilipinas battles India on July 3 at Mall of Asia Arena.
Gilas Pilipinas may add some TNT players to reinforce the young pool.
Vucinic, who is also a coaching staff at Meralco, will coach the 18-man pool bannered by Dwight Ramos, Thirdy Ravena, Ange Kouame, Will Navarro, Francis Lopez, Carl Tamayo, Geo Chiu, Dave Ildefonso, SJ Belangel, RJ Abarrientos, and Justine Baltazar.
The initial cut is also composed of Rhenz Abando, James Spencer, Kevin Quiambao, Sherwin Concepcion, Ricci Rivero, Allen Liwag, and Caelum Harris.
The Philippines holds a 1-1 record in Group A in the qualifiers.
Gilas Pilipinas had an underwhelming stint in the recently-concluded 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam, where Six-time PBA MVP June Mar and Co. settled for silver after losing to Indonesia.
This new batch of national team players, under Vucinic, is on a mission to lift up the squad’s morale after a frustrating runner-up finish in the SEA Games for the first time since 1989.
Vucinic is a three-time New Zealand’s National Basketball League champion and five-time coach of the year. He also won titles in Estonian League in 2009 and Lebanese Cup in 2016.
The 57-year-old arrived in the country last February as Reyes’ assistant coach before he was recently appointed as part of Norman Black’s coaching staff at Meralco.
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