Gilas Pilipinas’ head coaching job should be given to the most qualified, regardless of where he is from.
Mark Dickel pointed out as much when asked about Chot Reyes’ take on the program’s search for a full-time coach, during his talk in the Hoop Coaches International Webinar hosted by the Blackwater Elite Wednesday.
Reyes, himself a former national team coach, spoke on the matter in the same webinar last week and said that Gilas doesn’t need a foreign coach. Instead, he believes that a Filipino can get it done.
“That didn’t strike me one way or the other. It’s probably a good conversation to have at some point,” said the current TNT KaTropa active consultant.
“But to me, it should be more about who is the most qualified for the job.
“If it’s somebody from here, or somebody from Croatia, or France, or Australia, or wherever, then surely that person should be the best for the job. I don’t think it necessarily matters where that person is from,” Dickel furthered.
Dickel, though, has nothing but respect for Reyes, whom he said has been nice to him since he arrived here in 2018.
“I do respect where he’s coming from.
“Huge respect for Chot. He’s been really nice to me since I’ve been here. I love Josh, his son. He’s helped me so much — really good young coach,” said the two-time Olympian with New Zealand.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas has been searching for a full-time coach for Gilas since last year, after Yeng Guiao stepped down as its head coach following the national team’s winless campaign in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Several tacticians have since expressed their interest in the coaching job. There’s Angola national team head coach Will Voigt, as well as former Australia Boomers chief bench tactician Andrej Lemanis.
Dickel himself is a potential candidate, too. He handled Gilas on an interim basis in the first window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers last February. And he was successful, with the Filipino dribblers obliterating Indonesia, 100-70, in Jakarta.
“Whoever that coach is, if it’s me or somebody else, I’m sure he’s gonna be able to relate to the players, motivate the players, and get them to play how they want them to play. I don’t see that being such a big issue,” Dickel said.
Still, the former Albanian national team head coach said that sticking with a solid program that will have the players well-equipped and as prepared as possible is important also, regardless of who will be commandeering the team.
“I’m sure if they can stick to that program by 2023, there’s gonna be a competitive national team,” he said.
“Who ends up being the national team head coach for that is not as important as making sure that all the players are all prepared and ready and experienced and know how to play a multitude of different styles because that’s what international basketball is.”