Gilas women’s program important, says SBP president Al Panlilio

Published August 20, 2020, 10:09 PM

by Waylon Galvez

Gillas women
Gilas Women during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games (MB File Photo)

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio has disclosed that programs have been lined up for Gilas Pilipinas women’s basketball team in an effort to continue its progress in the country despite the coronavirus pandemic.

The women’s national team – both in the 3×3 and 5-on-5 events – was supposed to join several tournaments abroad, but the COVID-19 outbreak forced the meets’ postponement.

Panlilio said the pandemic shouldn’t stop the program.

In the past two weeks, SBP hosted the webinar series Women in Basketball: Growing the Game. This, he said, is the SBP’s efforts to empower individuals involved in the women’s basketball scene and arm them with additional knowledge.

“Developing women’s basketball is very important for the SBP,” said Panlilio.

“The aim of this webinar series is to help coaches in women’s basketball deepen their knowledge with the help of highly successful and passionate speakers from all over the world. We thank the FIBA office in Singapore led by Mr. David Crocker and Ms. Shu Ling Yew for all their help in organizing this series.”

Women in Basketball: Growing the Game was held on two weekends starting August 7, with the culmination held August 17.

The webinar series featured five guest speakers who have proven themselves in the field of women’s basketball. The panelists were Carrie Graf and David Hebert, head coaches of Australia’s Women’s National Team and U-19 Women’s Team, Japan Women’s National Team head coach Tom Hovasse, George Washington University’s Jen Rizzoti, and Princeton University’s Carla Berube.

Among the topics covered were the psychology in coaching women’s basketball, developing offensive and decision-making skills, building team concepts, and coaching high-tempo basketball.

The event also attracted the attention of coaches from the Southeast Asian region who were also eager to learn from the panelists. Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Singapore and Brunei were all represented with an average of 87 delegates from outside the Philippines attending every session.

The Gilas Pilipinas ladies swept the gold medal in last year’s Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, an achievement that gave women’s basketball in the country a much needed push.

“Helping the coaches is crucial because of its trickle down effect. One coach who’ll have a better understanding of women’s basketball could possibly lead to dozens of better-prepared players in the near future so even if our movement is limited by the pandemic, we’re still finding ways to pursue the SBP’s goals,” said Panlilio.

PBA champion coach Jong Uichico, who heads the SBP coaches commission, said he hopes this kind of program would help the development of women’s basketball.

“I was really surprised with the number attendees because this workshop was specifically for women’s basketball so it’s very inspiring to see that many people eager and passionate about pushing women’s basketball forward,” said Uichico.

“It was a great collaboration between FIBA and the SBP under the leadership of president Al Panlilio and executive director Sonny Barrios.

“There have been a lot of webinars focused men’s basketball so we wanted to make this very specific for women’s basketball. Our goal is for women’s basketball to grow. I know we have a long way to go but I’m hoping we get to the level of women’s volleyball in the Philippines.”