- Coach Yeng Guiao has stepped down as Gilas Pilipinas head coach days after the Philippine team concluded their stint in the FIBA World Cup
- He tendered his resignation to the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas on September 11
- Despite the dismal performance of the team in the world stage, Guiao said it is still the highlight of his career
From taking over an embattled Gilas Pilipinas team from that unfortunate brawl with the Australians that led to many suspensions, to securing a ticket to the FIBA World Cup this year, Coach Yeng Guiao has called its quits.
He had stepped down as the head coach of the Gilas Pilipinas Men’s Basketball Team on September 11; a day after the whole national squad arrived in the country from a disappointing 0-5 record in the World Cup.
“As regards the past performance of the Gilas Pilipinas Men’s Basketball Team in the recent World Cup, I am as disappointed as the rest of the country,” Guiao said in a statement he sent to the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.
Despite the dismal showing of the national squad in the world arena, Guiao, a seven-time PBA champion coach, said leading the team to the world cup was still the highlight of his career.
“I am truly blessed to have coached the best that Philippine Basketball has to offer and to have competed amongst the best in the world. I consider the past year, most especially our participation in the World Cup, as the highlight of my career,” he expressed.
He also looked back on the rough path he and his wards took just to get to the world stage again. “I take pride in having taken over the Gilas Program at a point of crisis, where the team was decimated by the suspension of players and coaches after the Australian incident,” he said.
But the Philippine team, with his help, weathered the storm and finished 5th in the Asian Games — the country’s best in 16 years. “We almost achieved the improbable,” he said; if not only defeated by China for an opportunity to make the finals.
After three qualifying windows, the Philippine team secured its second straight World Cup appearance. “I can only wish we could have performed better these past two weeks, but the odds were stacked against us. Nonetheless, I take full responsibility,” he went on.
“I am sorry we could not deliver a better performance. Our players gave their best against talented, bigger, stronger, and better prepared athletes from the best teams in the world. I truly appreciate their efforts and sacrifices – and that of their families. Our times together will never be erased from my memory… I am truly grateful for the opportunity to serve our country through the sport we love most. Para sa bayan,” Guiao concluded.