FOLLOWING their rough campaign in the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup where they failed to win a single game en route to finishing dead last in the 32-team field, Gilas Pilipinas coach Yeng Guiao stepped down from his post.
In a statement released on Wednesday, a day after arriving from China for the World Cup, Mr. Guiao said that like the entire nation, he, too, was disappointed with their performance in the global basketball spectacle just as he thanked all that had been part of their journey in the past year.
“As regards the past performance of the Gilas Pilipinas Men’s Basketball Team in the recent World Cup, I am as disappointed as the rest of the country,” Mr. Guiao’s statement opened.
The NLEX Road Warriors coach, who replaced Chot Reyes as Gilas coach midway into the World Cup qualifiers last year, said he is grateful for the opportunity that was given to him to coach as such a high level.
He said that he had no regrets in taking on the job despite the fact that he knew right from the start that it would not be an easy task albeit he wished that they could have performed better in China.
“I have no regrets in having taken the path I have taken in the past year; the only regret is that I would have wanted the team to have performed better on the world stage,” Mr. Guiao said.
Adding, “I take full responsibility.”
He went on to show his appreciation for all the people who helped the team as they battled their way to making the final cut for the World Cup.
“I truly and fully appreciate the efforts and sacrifices of all the players; not just those of the recent FIBA World Cup Team, but of all those who have contributed to the program since my appointment as head coach for the 2018 Asian Games. I would also like to extend my personal thanks to the coaching staff, trainers, utilities and the management of the Gilas Team for their hard work, support, and cooperation,” said Mr. Guiao.
He also thanked the officials of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, led by chairman emeritus Manuel V. Pangilinan and president Al Panlilio, the Philippine Basketball Association team owners and officials, and the fans “who wished us well, supported us, and offered their prayers.”
Mr. Guiao’s decision to step down was arrived at after he talked to SBP officials upon their arrival to the country on Tuesday.
At the World Cup, the Philippines wound up with the worst point differential in the 32-team tournament at minus-147 and lost all their five games by an average margin of 29.8 points. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo