YENG Guiao doesn’t believe the next head coach of Gilas Pilipinas needs to work on a full-time basis, saying the criteria has unnecessarily left out a lot of qualified candidates for the highly-coveted job.
The ever outspoken mentor of Rain or Shine said a coach in the pro league can still do well in handling the national team while concurrently doing his responsibilities with his club team.
Guiao gave his two cents worth while the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) is in the middle of its search for the next national coach to take over the job formerly held by Chot Reyes.
The SBP search panel has set out to look for a coach who can go full-time with Gilas, the main reason PBA coaches like Guiao, Tim Cone, Norman Black were scratched from the initial shortlist.
Tab Baldwin, who previously handled the New Zealand, Lebanon and Jordan national teams and currently a consultant at Talk `N Text, is the frontrunner for the position.
“It really limits the viable candidates to a few,” said Guiao during a roundtable discussion with the Online Media Group on Friday at the Countryspice Restaurant in Quezon City.
Curiously, Guiao and Cone took themselves out of the running for the position long before the SBP created the seach committee to begin the process of appointing a new Gilas coach.
Guiao clarified he is not against the qualifications set by the SBP.
“I have nothing against that. Pero you have a very limited pool of talent based on the requirements,” Guiao said.
The current congressman of Pampanga’s first district also cited the success of other national coaches in other countries while handling club teams at the same time.
The same is true in the Philippines, according to Guiao.
“Other countries, they allow their national coaches to coach their club teams. Before Chot (Reyes) and (Rajko) Toroman, ang coach natin sa national team, dual capacity,” he stressed.
Guiao coached the 2009 team to the Asian championships while Cone handled the 1998 Centennial Team. Black also coached a team to the Asian Games back in 1994.
While knowledge of the international game is a must for the next Gilas coach, Guiao said such knowledge can also be sharpened under a competitive environment like the PBA.
In contrast, the exposure of a national coach working on a full-time basis will only be limited to just a few tournaments, according to Guiao.
“Sa akin kasi, you do not lose the feel kasi kapag nagco-coach ka lang sa national team, how many tournaments do you coach, siguro one to three. ‘Yung coaching abilities mo, hindi rin nasa-sharpen hindi katulad ng kapag nagco-coach ka every conference, tumatakbo ang isip mo.
“In the national team, those one to three tournaments which are mostly one to two weeks and exhibition games, ‘yun lang ang coaching experience mo. You don’t coach in the playoffs, best-of-five, best-of-seven,” he added.