The Gilas Pilipinas brawl with Australia in last year’s FIBA Asia Championship World Cup qualifier can be considered as one of the darkest days in Philippine basketball. But officials of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and the management and coaching staff of our national team had taken initial steps in patching things up to establish their good working relationship towards basketball.
Coaches from Australia had been invited to conduct a clinic in front of our local coaches, and Gilas Pilipinas head honcho Yeng Guiao believes this could be a start of something good in reestablishing the once amicable relationship between the two countries.
“Yun ang objective namin sa SBP, yun rin ang objective namin sa Gilas. I was the one who proposed to have a practice with Australia from the very beginning. Eto natupad na nga, not with the national team, but with a good ball club. That still going to help us,” Guiao told FOX Sports Philippines in an exclusive interview.
Gilas Pilipinas will face an Australian club team in a series of exhibition games set up by the SBP as part of the national team’s preparation for the coming FIBA World Cup. The two-day tune up matches will be held on August 23 and 25.
Playing the Aussies in exhibition matches wasn’t new for the national team, as Gilas have been doing similar practices in the past while preparing for major international events like the Asian Games and World Cup qualifying events.
Over the weekend, Guiao took part in the SBP Coaches’ Summit where he joined several other local coaches and the two main clinicians from Australia — Damian Cotter and Dean Vickerman.
Guiao discussed the importance of making the most out of the team’s limited talent.
Cotter talked about the importance of the post game while Vickerman discussed the importance of beating the zone, which is essential in the international game like the FIBA World Cup.
“Yung mga coaches naman nila ang tumutulong sa mga coaches natin. This is the healing period, actually. It’s a very big step, positive step towards of being together again — the Philippines and Australia in terms of basketball,” added Guiao.