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Lack of reinforcements led to SBP withdrawal from Asian Games

by Waylon Galvez

NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

NLEX coach Yeng Guiao cited the PBA board decision not to allow players from other squads to the national team as the reason on why they Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) decided to withdraw from the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games next month in Indonesia.

The decision of the SBP came several hours after the board had agreed that it would allow just one team, which is Rain or Shine, to form the bulk of the national team alongside NLEX players and Gilas Pilipinas cadets.

“I was finalizing the lineup when I was informed the board denied our request for players from other teams,” said Guiao, who has been tabbed to call the shots for the national team late Thursday.

“While in the process of trying to complete the lineup, there have been doubts on whether (or not) we can really compete without the players we requested,” added Guiao, who reportedly wanted Paul Lee of Magnolia and Jeff Chan of Ginebra to the Asian Games squad.

Upon learning of the board decision, Guiao said he asked former SBP president Manny V. Pangilinan and current chief Al Panlilio on their expectations on the ROS-backed national team campaign.

“Are we trying to seriously compete or just trying to participate?”

“We are trying to seriously compete (in the Asian Games). But without reinforcements, it would be really difficult to expect a lot out of Rain or Shine,” added Guiao who specifically pointed out Iran, which is sending its national team to the Asian Games.

Guiao’s recommendation led to the SBP decision.

“I told the bosses, if this is the situation, it might even be better if we assess if it’s really going to help our cause,” said Guiao, adding that there was a consensus in the decision to withdraw that ROS co-owner Raymund Yu was asked about his thoughts before the SBP verdict.

The decision, according to the SBP, will “allow our National Team and our organization to regroup, prepare for the process of appealing the FIBA Disciplinary Panel’s recent Decision” – referring to the penalties handed to 10 players involved in the fight-marred Philippines and Australia game during a FIBA World Cup qualifying meet here early this month.

Guiao said he would love to call the shots for the national team, but he wants a competitive team that the country can be proud of and has the capabilities to really compete for a medal.