Yeng Guiao on Gilas future: SBP and PBA must work hand in hand

Former Gilas Pilipinas coach and current NLEX Road Warriors coach Yeng Guiao (MB File Photo)

Former Gilas Pilipinas coach Yeng Guiao questioned the sustainability of forming a roster exclusive for national team purposes while stressing the importance of cooperation between the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and the PBA.

“To me it’s imperative that the federation should be able to work with our pro league,” Guiao said during Thursday’s episode of Coaches Unfiltered.

“Let’s say, you’re taking players and you’re looking forward to these players playing for the national team and they’re a separate group, separate from the players who are playing with the pro league and they’re just for national team’s purpose, I don’t think that’s sustainable.

“At a certain point, you have to break up the team and these players are going to play for the pro teams anyway."

Isaac Go, Allyn Bulanadi, Rey Suerte and brothers Mike and Matt Nieto were drafted by PBA teams last December, but on a condition that they will be exclusively under the Gilas program until they are released by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.

Go and Matt Nieto suited up for Gilas along with a mixture of PBA and amateur cagers during last February’s 100-70 victory over Indonesia in the first window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers in Jakarta.

But Guiao said such principle is only on a short term basis and that the players will eventually seek the opportunity of making the jump to the pro ranks.

“It’s been done before, it has not been able to be long term. You can do it one year or two years, but after that you’re still going to break up and those guys are still going to play for a regular pro team,” he said.

“I think it’s imperative for the SBP to work hand-in-hand with the PBA. If you’re not able to do that, you’re not able to send the best players for the tournaments abroad. There is no team in the world that is just a national team. 

“There is no model like that anywhere in the world. They will have to come out of their mother teams and form the national team. There is no basketball team or in any other sport. All of these players are playing pros and they are being called for the national team."

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