Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao said yesterday that the cadet program being proposed by some PBA officials will not work and that it will be best for the national team to continue using the huge talent base of the professional basketball league in international competitions.
Guiao gave his opinion after being informed that the PBA may revert back to the cadet system after Gilas Pilipinas competes in the FIBA-sponsored Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) next year.
“The cadet system has been tried before, and it doesn’t work,” Guiao said yesterday. “At the end of the day, you always go back to your best PBA players.”
“The important thing is to plan ahead, and then minimize the disruption and the inconveniences (from the PBA schedule and teams). We should learn our lessons from the past,” he added.
Guiao coached the national team in the 2009 FIBA Asia Championship in Tianjin, China and following that event the Sama-hang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) started a two-year program using some cadet players, or amateurs, for Gilas Pilipinas under Serbian mentor Rajko Toroman for the 2011 Asian championship.
Among the members of that team were former amateurs and now PBA players Chris Tiu of Rain or Shine, Jvee Casio of Alaska, Mac Baracael of Red Bull, and Mark Barroca of the Star Hotshots. They were joined by naturalized player Marcus Douthit, Jimmy Alapag, Asi Taulava, Kelly Williams, and Ranidel de Ocampo.
Toroman guided the team to a fourth place finish but the SBP decided not to continue the program and instead formed a team backed by the PBA players in 2012 under coach Chot Reyes.