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2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

Seeing Gilas players sacrifice, Yeng Guiao vows to bring Philippines to World Cup

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Tiebreaker Times Seeing Gilas players sacrifice, Yeng Guiao vows to bring Philippines to World Cup 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  Yeng Guiao Gilas Elite 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

It has been a long month for Gilas Pilipinas head coach Yeng Guiao.

Last August, Guiao was tasked to steer the Philippine Men’s National Basketball Team in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta.

But after the gallant stand put up by the team, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan made a bold declaration.

“I must say that coach Yeng was a revelation,” he said.

A few months later, Chot Reyes – who was serving a one-game suspension in FIBA-sanctioned competitions – stepped down as Gilas’ head coach to pave the way for Guiao to take over.

Though there has yet to be a formal contract sent by the SBP to Guiao, the affable mentor has made it known that he will take the post.

“Siguro, I’ll just wait for the formal announcement of SBP, if they would want me to continue coaching,” disclosed Guiao as Gilas ended its fourth window campaign in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers with a 1-1 slate to keep solo third in Group F.

Though making no promises, Guiao said that if he takes the job, he will have one mindset: Enter the World Cup or bust.

“The next window is November 30 and December 3, then after that February, tapos World Cup na. Actually ang sabi ko lang naman, kung ibibigay nila sa akin dahil maganda na ang samahan namin, formally, tatanggapin ko naman,” he pointed out.

“Pero ang sinasabi ko rin, pag hindi tayo nakarating ng World Cup, at hindi ko nadala sa World Cup, bahala na kayo sa buhay niyo. I will walk away, hindi ko pala kaya.

“Pero ‘pag nadala namin sa World Cup, hindi ko naman ika-kapit tuko eh. It’s really milestones,” he said. “It’s really just delivering the objective or kung ano ‘yung purpose nito. Bakit ba tayo andito? Gusto nating makarating sa World Cup eh.

“So ‘pag hindi tayo nakarating sa World Cup, ikaw ang coach, mag-resign ka. So sabi ko, ganoon ang ano ko. Kung makarating tayo sa World Cup, ‘di mag-usap ulit tayo.”

What changed Guiao’s stance regarding coaching Gilas was seeing the team sacrifice for the country. Seeing players like Beau Belga and Marcio Lassiter bleed, Paul Lee and JP Erram play hurt, and guys like Paul Lee leave their families made him realize that this was more than just a team – Gilas is a family.

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“So, hindi ko naman kakapitan itong position na ito kung ‘di ko kaya ito, meron siguro diyan na may kaya. At saka, nami-miss ko itong mga batang ‘to,” expressed Guiao, who has been with the core of this team for the past month. “After a while, there’s a bond that develops, because nakita mo napuputukan sa kilay, nakita mo dumudugo ang ilong, nakita mo nawawalan ng ngipin, nakita mo nagtitiis sila, buntis ang asawa nila, nandito sila.

“Eh ano ba naman ‘yung hirap ko, ‘di ba? Walang ano ‘yun. Tapos iiwanan mo, tapos tatanggihan mo? Anong klaseng samahan ‘yan, anong klaseng tao ka.

“Magsama-sama tayo, subukan natin kung saan tayo makarating. ‘Di tayo makarating, maghiwa-hiwalay tayo. Bahala na ‘yung SBP kung ano gusto nilang gawin,” the seven-time PBA champion coach added. “Ganoon lang ka-simple.

“Wala naman kaming pinag-usapang pera dito eh. Wala naman kaming pinag-usapang incentive dito eh. Basta tinuro lang kami, naglaro na kami, nag-coach na kami. Wala namang ipinangako sa amin dito, gusto lang namin mag-silbi.”

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