Guiao named permanent Gilas coach

MANILA — Yeng Guiao has been named the head coach for Gilas Pilipinas on a permanent basis.

“It’s no longer interim, and it’s no longer temporary, so hanggang sa (until the) World Cup, at least until next year,” said Guiao, right after he announced his national team pool for the fifth window of the tournament’s continental qualifiers at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on Tuesday night.

Guiao was named the interim Gilas coach for the Asian Games and the fourth window of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers (WCQ), following the complications arising from the one-game suspension handed by FIBA to erstwhile gaffer Chot Reyes for failing to control his players during the infamous Gilas-Australia brawl on July 2.

However, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas chairman emeritus Manny Pangilinan already hinted at the possibility of Guiao leading the Nationals after the fourth window as early as September.

“Coach Yeng was a revelation (especially on) how he managed to bring the team together (considering the) different personalities from different teams and how Jordan Clarkson also blended with the team,” Pangilinan said. “Coach Yeng has done a magnificent job.”

A week after Pangilinan’s statements, Reyes “stepped aside” from coaching Gilas, further leaning to the possibility that Guiao could become the permanent coach.

The current NLEX tactician himself confirmed the development.

“The formal appointment came out this morning before the (PBA board) meeting,” Guiao said.

Speaking of the Road Warriors, he added that he will stay as their mentor.

“I’m taking on two coaching jobs at this point, and at the same time, I’m campaigning for my district,” said Guiao, who is vying for a congressional spot in the 1st District of Pampanga.