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Mark Dickel officially named Gilas Men mentor for FIBA ACQ Window 1

Mark Dickel will coach Gilas Men on an interim basis. Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas formally announced on Wednesday that Mark Dickel will lead the way for Gilas Pilipinas Men in the first window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers next month.

The said development confirmed what FIBA revealed earlier this month when it listed him as part of the Gilas Men coaching staff along with Gilas Youth head coach Sandy Arespacochaga and Serbian gaffer Nenad Trunic 

Dickel, currently the active consultant of Coach Bong Ravena at TNT in the PBA, will be calling the shots for a national team after nine years or when he handled the coaching job for the Albanian national team from 2010-2011 even if he was still playing that time in the New Zealand and the Australian leagues.

Dickel will coach Gilas Men for the first two games of their campaign against Thailand at home on Feb. 20 and against Indonesia on the road on Feb. 23.

With him as part of Ravena's coaching staff, the KaTropa quickly got back to title contention last PBA season, eventually making the finals of the Commissioner's Cup and the semifinals of the Governors' Cup.

“In his short stint in the Philippines, Coach Mark has performed creditably well,” Manny Pangilinan, SBP's chairman emeritus, said in a statement. “We all know what he did to help TNT in such a short span and we’re confident he can also move things quickly as we prepare for the first window this February.”

Dickel will not have a hard time to infuse his system to the Gilas Men pool as three of its members are from TNT, Troy Rosario, RR Pogoy, and Ray-Ray Parks.

SBP, however, clarified that Dickel is stepping in as an "interim" coach and will be naming Gilas Men's full-time mentor in November, just before the second window.

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