The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) remains in deliberation regarding the head coaching position for Gilas Pilipinas Men.
That is according to SBP Special Assistant to the President Ryan Gregorio when asked who could possibly be the program’s full-time chief mentor, particularly for the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 in July in Jakarta, Indonesia.
“It is something that is being deliberated,” the coach-turned-executive told The Chasedown, Saturday.
The federation has been searching for a coach since 2019. Yeng Guiao resigned from the post shortly after a winless campaign in the FIBA World Cup in China, where Gilas finished dead last among 32 teams.
The position has since had several people fill in. Tim Cone, the PBA’s most accomplished mentor with 23 titles, mentored the PBA-backed Nationals on the way to the gold in the 30th Southeast Asian Games in Manila.
Then-TNT active consultant Mark Dickel, a protegé of Gilas program director Tab Baldwin, coached a ‘hybrid’ crew in the Asia Cup Qualifiers’ first window in February 2020. There, they mauled the Indonesians, 100-70.
The following window saw the return of Jong Uichico at the helm of a national team for the first time since the 29th Southeast Asian Games. The decorated think-tank steered the Cadet-laden team to two rousing victories over Thailand.
Uichico will likely remain as the Filipino dribblers’ head coach for both the Qualifiers’ Clark window and the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade.
Several foreign coaches have actually expressed interest in handling Gilas. There’s Angola national team head coach Will Voigt, as well as former Australia Boomers chief bench tactician Andrej Lemanis.
The search continues for the SBP, still. However, there is no need yet for an answer at this point in time, according to Gregorio.
“We don’t have to give a definite answer. But of course, we know that it is running — our system is running. We know exactly the direction, we know exactly the kind of manpower necessary for us to compete at a high level,” he said.
“At pagdating ng tamang panahon, we will tell you exactly who the next coach will be.”