AFTER Nenad Vucinic, is Gilas Pilipinas still keen on adding a foreign coach to its roster in the leadup to the 2023 Fiba World Cup?
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) executive director and spokesperson Sonny Barrios said that the possibility is still not out of the window.
"I haven't gotten a conversation with coach Chot [Reyes] on that, but it's not a closed topic," he said on Monday's Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum.
Vucinic left his post as part of Reyes' staff just days weeks before the fourth window of the Asian qualifiers where the Philippines will play Lebanon in Beirut on Aug. 25 and Saudi Arabia at Mall of Asia on Aug. 29, opting not to renew his contract.
Foreign minds are no stranger to the national team program, from Ron Jacobs in the old Northern Cement team in the 1980s and Rajko Toroman in the 2000s, to Tim Cone and Norman Black.
Tab Baldwin has also famously been brought in by Reyes together with Spanish coach Natxo Lezcano in the buildup for the 2014 Fiba World Cup in Seville, while coaches like Mark Dickel and Vucinic have also worked as part of the Gilas program over the past three years.
Barrios, though, said that the decision to hire a foreign coach to help the team will still depend on what Reyes and his staff including Cone and Jong Uichico believes could benefit the national team in the long run.
"Let me put it this way: we're not leaving any stone unturned sa preparasyon natin. Kung sa pananaw nila coach Chot, Tim and Jong, meron silang specific personality, meron silang natutumbok na isang specific international coach na sa tingin nila makakatulong," he said.
"Specific na yun composition mo, pati game plan mo doon sa makakalaban mo sa group mo. So pwedeng mapagkasunduan nila na si ganitong foreign coach, mukhang angkop na angkop ito kasi si country A and country B, kabisado ng coach na ito. Pwedeng mangyari itong ganoon."