FORMER Gilas Pilipinas coach Yeng Guiao suggested that the PBA should decrease the number of conferences during seasons when an important international competition is scheduled.
Guiao made the suggestion in Hoop Coaches International webinar organized by Blackwater consultant Ariel Vanguardia, saying that it will solve the perennial problem of Gilas Pilipinas not having ample time to prepare for a tournament.
“If you can play just one conference, then do it with one conference during a World Cup year or during an Olympic year if you qualify or during the Asian Games year,” said the NLEX coach,
“Maybe in the Asian Games, you play just two conferences just to give the national team a few more weeks or a few more months to stay together,” said Guiao.
Guiao said national teams in the past, including the Gilas sides he handled in the Asian Games and Fiba World Cup, has to make do with short preparations as players as well as coaches can’t commit full time due to the PBA schedule.
In Guiao’s case, he batted for a one-month preparation for the World Cup, during which time he can have the players exclusively. His request was not accommodated.
“To me, the best solution is if we are preparing for an Asian Games or a World Cup or an important tournament, instead of having three conferences, maybe we can have only two. It’s that simple," he said.
Since Guiao resigned as Gilas coach following the last-place finish in the World Cup, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) has yet to find a full-time replacement with Tim Cone and Mark Dickel taking the job on an interim basis. The SBP is also mulling to hire a foreign coach for Gilas.
Hiring a full-time coach isn't the answer to Gilas' woes, Guiao said, so long as the players from the PBA can't commit full time as well.
“Even the coach, hindi siya kailangang full time. Kahit full time ‘yung coach, kapag hindi mo makuha sa teams nila, you can’t pull them out, what’s the use of a full-time coach if you can’t practice together,” said Guiao.
Guiao said having a shorter season will definitely go a long way in the preparation of Gilas teams in competition.
“It’s just cooperation. They really have to commit to the objective for the national team and it (time to prepare) has been the perennial problem. We are always ill-prepared or just didn’t have the luxury of time together,” said Guiao.