Thursday, September 11, 2008


This news item showed the local coaches' opposition to the plan by SBP to hire a foreign coach. This was the day after SBP bared their proposal to recruit one.

LOCAL coaches collectively expressed their views opposing the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas’ plan to hire a foreign coach that will handle the Philippine men’s basketball squad seeing action in the 2011 FIBA Asia Men’s Basketball Championship, a qualifying event for the 2012 London Olympics.

Red Bull coach Yeng Guiao, Nokia Pilipinas Youth and La Salle Green Archers mentor Franz Pumaren and former Welcoat coach and now Adamson Falcons mentor Leo Austria disagreed with the SBP’s plan on tapping the services of Serbian coach Rajko Toroman.

Toroman steered the Iranian squad to the FIBA Asia Men’s Basketball Championship in Tokushima, Japan last year.

But Pumaren, Guiao and Austria unanimously agreed that the Philippine team that will compete in major Asian basketball tournaments and possibly in the Olympics should be handled by no less than our very own.

“There are many competent coaches here and I believe success comes within the program,” said Pumaren, also the head of the Philippine Basketball Association’s Players Union.

Guiao, the top candidate for the head coaching post for the national team that will see action in the 2009 FIBA Asia Men’s Basketball Championship, is not convinced about the need to get a foreign coach.

“Why hire a foreign coach? Will he cry alongside the players everytime we suffer a setback? Or how compassionate he is compared to a Filipino coach while handling the Philippine team? I mean, there are a lot of talented coaches here who will stick to the team win or lose. ” said Guiao.


As the events previously unfolded showed, having a Filipino coach doesn't mean he will stick around win or lose. Besides, it will not hurt as much.

Despite the opposition to the proposal, the SBP will try to convince the PBA to consider hiring a foreign coach to the national team.

Meanwhile, the BAP-Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas will persuade the Philippine Basketball Association to consider employing the services of a foreign coach when the professional league spearheads the formation of a team to the FIBA-Asia Championship next year.

If the PBA insists on a local to coach the national team, then it should be Yeng Guiao and he should resign from Red Bull. I think Coach Yeng is capable. Back in 1990, he led the Philippine Light All-Stars to a ten-point victory against China (though PBA rules were used and an import was employed). He steered his Red Bull team to PBA semifinals stint without big name stars believing in the system rather than star power. I admire the guy and he deserves to be the national team coach but only as a full-time one. No more part-time coach - one bad experience is enough! Our national team needs a full time coach!

However, the PBA should be open-minded on this matter. I really prefer a foreign one esp. with vast international basketball experience like Toroman (Toro=Bull, they have something in common with Coach Yeng) but I think PBA will not bend to SBP's request. I just hope, this wouldn't result in another impasse and stall our preparation again.

The issue of SBP hiring a foreign coach would have been averted had Commissioner Barrios chose one a long time ago. This month, exactly one year before FIBA-Asia, would have been a great start for Team Pilipinas to start training. Another three-month preparation and I can assure you - our players will be crying again in another first round exit. You may say what about other Asian teams - they too train for three months. Yes, you have a point but the players know each other since they were young as they get to represent their countries in age-group competitions. Besides, they are very familiar with FIBA rules - our PBA players are not.

Quinito Henson should be the national team coach, he seems to know a lot!

I don't recall Mr. Henson criticize Coach Pumaren's basketball strategies and tactics during the FIBA-Asia Under 18 Championship. The former deplored the action that he thought was wrong!

I respect Coach Pumaren by the way don't get me wrong. In fact I was happy that he instilled mental toughness on the RP boys in the game against Taiwan (and Iran). I think he is the perfect coach for the national youth team. Though we lost a close game against Lebanon it was due to a lousy call. We would've won the game.

SBP could be faulted too for not synchronizing college competitions with the international schedule.

As I've said yesterday, local college leagues are independent of SBP. There's no need for SBP to impose. I think it is more commendable if those leagues change schedules in their own volition not because they were ordered to.

Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.

The local college league officials already know their schedules' conflict with FIBA's. It would be better for them to take the initiative much like the then PBA Commissioner Eala's cutting of PBA Conferences from three to two and changing the association's time table to allow the PBA to represent the country. If there's a will, there's a way! It will only happen if the leagues concerned share the Filipino people's dream of regaining basketball supremacy in Asia. Actions speak louder than words, so to speak.

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