LIKE most fans, the head of the MVP Sports Foundation said Gilas Pilipinas management is disappointed in the seventh-place finish in the last Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
“We’re also disappointed in the seventh-place finish, we wanted to perform better. We were hoping for the gold medal game, I think kaya naman nating umabot run (against either Korea and Iran) eh,” said Al Panlilio, a trusted executive of chief Gilas backer Manny V. Pangilinan.
The soft-spoken Panlilio, also a senior vice-president for corporate marketing and communication at Meralco, said he feels for Gila coach Chot Reyes, who has come under fire from fans on line, more so following the tirade launched by basketball legend Mon Fernandez.
“Some of them a bit unfair, some of them are fair. But we have to take it in general,” Panlilio said.
Panlilio said stakeholders will re-assess the whole Gilas campaign and its results and then come up with new recommendations on how best to tweak the program moving forward.
The next target is the 2015 Fiba Asia Championship in China tentatively set to start on September 1, the main Asia qualifier for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
“Right now, we have not really sat down. Right now, we want to assess. I think there are good. Merung maganda, merung hindi masyadong maganda. We’ll assess them all,” he said.
“It’s not just about the coaching staff, but also the players. We will re-evaluate the team and then we’ll decide on that. (PBA) commissioner (Chito) Slaud is right… the dust has not settled, we’ll just let the smoke clear first, then we’ll re-assess everything,” added Panlilio.
Here's a podcast of the full interview with Al Panlilio:
Panlilio said Gilas management is aware of the sentiment of the fans and assured that, too, will be considered when decisions are made.
“I think we will listen to all feedback, more importantly (from) all the stakeholders of the Gilas team, the PBA, the NCAA, the UAAP. All of them. We will want to make it a collaborative effort and see how we move ahead,” said Panlilio, who is also Meralco's representative in the PBA board.
Panlilio confirmed Reyes still has an existing contract as Gilas Pilipinas coach, but declined to discuss the details.
“He has a coaching contract. I am not aware of the full details. He has normal bonuses if you achieve a certain performance,” he said. “Yes, like any company in the MVP group, (under his coaching contract) if you perform then there are some rewards.”
Right now, Panlilio said everyone involved in Gilas deserved a break following a campaign that saw the national team compete for the first time in over three decades in the Fiba World Cup in Spain before proceeding to the Asiad in Incheon.
“It’s been a very long journey, we started August 2012. The Gilas team was out for 45 days in preparation for the World Cup in Spain and only came home maybe a few days and then left again for Korea,” he said.
“All of them sacrificed a lot in terms of family time, own personal time. The coaches also sacrificed. Maraming sakripisyo dun. So we want to give them a little bit more time also to just come back and relax,” he said.
Asked if changes are in the offing, Panlilio said, “We haven’t done that assessment yet. We will do an assessment first. We have a program. Everybody just came back. Pahinga muna.
“It’s not only coaching but it’s an assessment of the whole program, where we are today. We have achieved a lot, at the same time we need to improve some more if we want to perform consistently in the international arena.”