Guiao looms as SEAG team coach

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The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is eyeing Yeng Guiao to handle the team headed for the 30th Southeast Asian Games in November.

Marcial said Guiao’s appointment would be very logical as he is also in-charge of preparing the national men’s basketball team in the FIBA World Cup in August.

Unlike before, the basketball event in the SEA Games is no longer a walk in the park.

Teams like Indonesia and Thailand had evolved into serious threats following their exposure in the Asean Basketball League.

In the 28th edition of the Games in Singapore, in fact, the Philippines huffed and puffed in the semifinals before winning the crown.

That’s why the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) are leaving no stone unturned in forming a strong national squad that would take the biennial meet at the Mall of Asia Arena by storm.

POC president Ricky Vargas said they want to assemble a strong national team composed of professional players with naturalized player Andray Blatche serving as reinforcement.

Marcial said it is only fitting for Guiao to be appointed as head coach.

“After all, coach Yeng is our national team coach,” said Marcial following the lengthy PBA board of governors meeting late Thursday.

“Now if we send a PBA-backed team in SEA Games. Who would be our coach? That’s coach Yeng of course simply because he’s our national team coach.”

Vargas already assured his all-out support to the national team, not only for the World Cup this August, but also for the SEA Games.

“The PBA is committed to support the national team on both ends,” said Vargas, who is also the chairman of the PBA board. “We’re planning to send an all pro-team both for the FIBA World Cup and the SEAG.”

Guiao, however, admitted that it would be hard to pass up on the opportunity especially upon Marcial’s personal request.

“At first, I said that I would beg off from that because of other personal plans but now, I think it would be really hard to say no,” said Guiao, who is looking to represent the fifth district of Pampanga in the House of Representatives.

“So far, there’s no instruction from our bosses yet. I am not thinking about it as of the moment.”

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