The Philippine basketball community was left surprised with Yeng Guiao’s decision to step down as Gilas Pilipinas’ head coach days after returning to the country fresh from their disappointing FIBA World Cup campaign.
SBP president Al Panlilio expressed his gratitude to the veteran mentor for all his contributions to the Gilas program since taking over last year despite all odds stacked against him.
“It is with a heavy heart that we accept coach Yeng’s resignation as the head coach for Gilas Pilipinas Men. The SBP thanks him for his contributions and wishes him well in all of his future endeavors,” said Panlilio in a statement.
“Coach Yeng Guiao had the unenviable task of picking up the pieces for Gilas Pilipinas Men. Even if the odds were stacked against him from the start, he took on the challenge head on and gave it his best shot,” he added.
Gilas Pilipinas went through a major overhaul after the team got involved in the infamous Philippines-Australia brawl during the World Cup Qualifiers. Yeng Guiao took over from there and he guided the national team to its second straight appearance in the FIBA World Cup.
The team went 0-5 in their campaign and they were ranked last in all of the 32 teams who competed in the quadrennial meet. Despite the result, Panlilio was highly complimentary of Guiao’s demeanor and composure, all while earning everyone’s respect in the process.
“His selection to take over was unanimous and it spoke volumes about the respect that he has gained throughout his career from all members of the Philippine basketball community,” bared Panlilio.
It remains to be seen on what steps are to be done for the next few months, and it looks like Gilas Pilipinas will be back to the drawing board once again.