RAIN or Shine coach Yeng Guiao has a curt, three-word response to netizens who feel he should be considered for the Gilas Pilipinas job amid a clamor for Chot Reyes' resignation.
“Count me out.”
The names of Guiao and San Mig coach Tim Cone have been getting the most mentions amid the frustration over Gilas' meltdown in Incheon, South Korea, where the Philippines failed to reach the medal round.
Cone came out to say on Sunday that he believes a coaching change is not necessary at this time, adding he feels Reyes is still the 'best man for the job.'
Contacted for comment by Spin.ph on Monday, Guiao said he more or less feel the same way.
“Si Tim nagpalabas ng side niya na, ‘Salamat pero wag na lang,’ parang ganun. Ako ganun din attitude ko dyan. Malaking sakripisyo kasi yan,” said the outspoken mentor.
“Si Coach Chot kasi wala siyang PBA team. Sa sitwayson kasi na yan, kung may commitment ka sa iyong PBA team, definitely your time and focus will be divided. Mahirap i-divide ang oras at ang atensyon mo. Parehong mag sa suffer.
“Kung merun man nakakaisip sa akin (na maging national coach ulit), I am flattered. I am thankful for that. Pero galing na ko dyan, mahirap ang trabaho dyan.”
Known as a great motivator and a master in on-game adjustments, Guiao has been national coach once before, leading an all-pro Powerade team - given just a month to prepare and the last without a naturalized player - to eighth place in the 2009 Fiba Asia championships in Tianjin, China.
But some fans obviously want him back in the national team program based on a survey done by Spin.ph:
But Guiao was all praises to Reyes, who he said has dedicated his time and full attention to the national team and has done a "good job" at it.
“It’s a hard job. I thought coach Chot Reyes really dedicated himself to that cause and to me he did a good job,” he said.
“Of course there are disappointing moments when we collapsed towards the end. 'Yun ang parang naging character ng team. Pero overall, I think he still did a good job,” added the Pampanga congressman.
The fiery Elasto Painters mentor also believes that Reyes should be given another chance to sustain the gains of the Gilas program.
“You cannot make everybody happy and you have to accept that. Kaso siya ang merong commitment to dedicate himself to that cause … hindi ko alam kung may makikita pa tayo na pwedeng mag-commit sa objective na 'yan,” he said.
Asked if he will still say no if he is personally approached by top Gilas patron Manny V. Pangilinan, Guiao said it would be hard for him to do the job considering his commitments with Rain or Shine and his duties as a solon.
“Well, I have my commitment to the team. Pero may trabaho ako now (sa Rain or Shine) tapos may commitment pa ako sa mga constituents ko sa Pampanga. So mahirap i-sakripisyo yun. Malabo ako dyan,” he stressed.
Giving his take on Gilas' endgame meltdowns in matches against Korea, Iran, and Kazakhstan, Guiao said the national team can only improve if given more exposure overseas.
"Yan ang sinasabi ko na kulang pa rin tayo sa experience playing at that level. Siguro mas kailangan lang na pag-ibayuhin pa natin ang kampanya sa mga international tournaments. Dun tayo tatatag eh,” he said.
Guiao also said it is not easy for Reyes, or any coach for that matter, to turn the tide during a late meltdown.
“Yung tungkol sa sisi nung ilan sa coach kung bakit tayo nagku collapse sa endgame… Mahirap na nasa lugar ni coach Chot, when that meltdown is happening," he said.
“You press the buttons. And you try all options and when that happens, it’s so hard to revive the momentum,” added Guiao.
Here are portions of the interview with Yeng Guiao:
The former PBA Coach of the Year also expressed full support for the strengthening of the naturalization program, which has led to stints by Marcus Douthit and former Brooklyn Nets center Andray Blatche with Gilas.
“Oo. Kailangan natin ang naturalized player. When I was handling the national team in 2009, isa na ako sa mga nag suggest na gawin yan. Kailangan natin yun,” he said.
“Mas lalo sa mga next few years. Kailangan natin ang naturalized players. Kasi alam naman natin na may kakulangan talaga tayo sa height,” added Guiao.