Guiao taking over Gilas for good possible says MVP

Yeng Guiao may get a longer stint as Gilas coach according to SBP chairman emeritus Manny Pangilinan. Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Don't be surprised if Coach Yeng Guiao's tenure as Gilas coach will go beyond the fourth window of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers.

No less than SBP's chairman emeritus himself, Manny Pangilinan, said that the current NLEX gaffer could become the national team mentor for good.

"I think so," Pangilinan, the first president of the said NSA, simply said when asked if the current higher-ups, led by president Al Panlilio, chairman Sonny Angara, and vice chairman Robbie Puno, are ready to give him the Gilas coaching job on a permanent basis.

Given Gilas' performance in the Asian Games, however, it can be a very likely scenario.

"Coach Yeng was a revelation [especially on] how he managed to bring the team together [considering the] different personalities from different teams and how Jordan Clarkson also blended with the team," Pangilinan continued. "Coach Yeng has done a magnificent job."

He later quipped that the PBA is more than willing to support the cause.

"Binuksan na ang pinto ng PBA kay Yeng," Pangilinan further said.

"Mr. MVP" also said that Coach Chot Reyes is willing to give way should Guiao gets the job for good.

"Hindi naman maiinggit si Chot. Kinausap na niya ako. Alam naman niya," Pangilinan continued.

Reyes was given a one-game suspension, which will take place in Gilas' next game at Iran on Sept. 13, by FIBA for failing to pacify Gilas during its WCQ brawl against Australia on July 2, paving the way for Guiao to be named the interim coach.

While Reyes will be eligible to coach again when Gilas takes on Qatar on Sept. 17 in Quezon City, the SBP decided to keep Guiao for the said closed-door match taking place at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

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