Gilas Pilipinas have tapped three decorated coaches to help out Gilas Pilipinas head coach Jong Uichico and program director Tab Baldwin for the third window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.
Meralco head coach Norman Black, Rain or Shine head coach Caloy Garcia, and Gilas Youth head coach Sandy Arespacochaga are set to make their national team return as the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas has tapped the trio to serve as assistant coaches for the Philippines.
“We are really trying to cast the net wide and bring more coaches to be exposed to the national team environment and gain more international experience. We are two-plus years out from 2023. It’s about bringing a lot of people in as we get closer to 2023,” said Gilas program director Tab Baldwin.
Black makes his return to Gilas after three years.
The 11-time PBA champion coach had been a staple in Chot Reyes’ Gilas teams from 2011 to 2018. Black was also the head coach of Sinag Pilipinas that won gold during the 2011 Southeast Asian Games.
Garcia, on the other hand, was the deputy head coach of Gilas during the Yeng Guiao era — serving the national team from the fourth to the final window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, the 2018 Asian Games, and the 2019 World Cup itself.
Besides being head coach of the youth team, Arespacochaga has been the deputy of Baldwin in Ateneo. The youthful tactician also served as an assistant coach during the first window of the Asia Cup Qualifiers last February.
During the first window, Alex Compton and Topex Robinson were the assistant coaches of interim head coach Mark Dickel. Then in the second window, Boyet Fernandez joined Uichico and Baldwin in Manama.
Gilas take on South Korea on February 18, Indonesia on the 20th, and Korea again on the 22nd in Clark.
The Philippines leads Pool A with a 3-0 record.