Photo by Adrian Portugal/Rappler
MANILA, Philippines – After proving himself in the 2018 Asian Games and the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers 4th window, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) officially appointed Yeng Guiao as Gilas head coach on Tuesday, November 7.
"The formal appointment came this morning before the meeting. So it’s no longer interim and it’s no longer temporary," Guiao told reporters.
The fiery mentor will be coaching Gilas for the whole duration of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers and the 2019 FIBA World Cup itself if th Philippines is able to gain a slot. (READ: Kai Sotto, Jayson Castro join Gilas FIBA World Cup qualifiers training pool)
Guiao will be juggling both his commitments to the national team and the NLEX Road Warriors, while also planning to run for congress, representing the 1st District of Pampanga.
For the 5th window of the qualifiers, Guiao will be fielding a tall All-Filipino national team pool in preparation for the towering Central Asia teams – Kazakhstan and Iran.
"I’m sure that it’s going to bring a lot of pride to the Filipinos and to the PBA also as a league ’cuz I believe that the strength of the national team is proportional to the strength of your professional league," said Guiao.
"[The national team] is going to be a reflection of the PBA, so that responsibility is on our shoulders and we hope we can live up to it."
Guiao first coached the Philippine men's basketball team in the 2009 FIBA Asia Championship where the squad finished 8th in the tournament. He was reappointed as interim head coach after Chot Reyes was suspended by FIBA following his actions in the infamous brawl.
In the 2018 Asian Games, Guiao led Gilas to a 5th place finish – the country's best ranking in the continental games in 16 years.
After losing to Iran in the 4th window, Guiao's squad managed to pull off a 3rd quarter surge that clinched the win over Qatar in the closed door match in the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
In the pro league, Guiao is decorated with 7 PBA titles. – Rappler.com
More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.