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NO TURNING BACK

There’s no money involved here

Yeng Guiao announced that he’s more than ready to extend his coaching duties following a victorious performance against Qatar in the second round of the FIBA Asia World Cup Asian Qualifier late Monday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Guiao, the fiery NLEX mentor in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) said there are already hints that he would be tapped as full-time mentor, but he’s still waiting for the formal appointment from Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).

Guiao’s rise to the top bench post of the national squad was unexpected.

After national mentor Chot Reyes and assistant Jong Uichico got involved in the ugly brawl against Australia last July, the federation gave him the marching order to call the shots for a hastily-formed national squad in the 18th Asian Game

The PBA, however, rallied behind him and made all its players available, prompting the SBP to extend his stint until the second round of the qualifiers.

Then, SBP chairman emeritus Manny Pangilinan bared that Guiao should stay as head coach for good.

Guiao, however, stressed that he’s still waiting for word from the SBP.

“I will just wait for the formal announcement of SBP if they would want me to continue coaching,” said Guiao after the Nationals clobbered the Qataris, 92-81.

“The next window is on November, then February, then its World Cup already and I would actually accept it if SBP officially makes an offer.”

My sacrifice is nothing compared to them so why would I leave them and turn down the permanent coaching offer? That’s not fair. That’s not family, that’s not bond. So we’re all in this together and let’s try to go to places as far as we can.

Guiao said turning his back on the Nationals, most of them are his close friends and former players, would be the hardest thing to do.

After all, they have already formed a special bond after marching to war in the Asian Games and clashing against Iran and Qatar in the qualifiers for the past couple of months.
“I will miss these guys,” he said.

“There’s a bond that has already been developed, our guys had their brow busted, nose broken and teeth lost. One of my players has a pregnant wife, but still opted to play. Through those moments, they sacrificed.”

“My sacrifice is nothing compared to them then so why would I leave them and turn down the permanent coaching offer? That’s not fair. That’s not family, that’s not bond. So we’re all in this together and let’s try to go to places as far as we can.”

Guiao said money is not the basis of his decision.

“There’s no money involved here,” he said.

“We didn’t talk about incentives. We just have accepted the mission, we played, we coached. There’s nothing promised to us. We just served our country.”

Vote of confidence

There’s no formal word yet, but Pangilinan already hinted that Guiao is the right man for the job.

“Yes, I think so,” he said when asked if Guiao will still call the shots in the next window against Kazakhstan.

“I hope all the way to the World Cup. That’s our objective.”

Earlier this month, Pangilinan dropped the hint that Guiao will be hired on a permanent capacity.

He said Guiao’s performance in the Asian Games when he steered an undermanned and underprepared squad to a fifth-place finish is enough to convince them that he has what it takes to run the national team program.

And with the win over Qatar, the Nationals are looking good to make it to the World Cup in China after solidifying their hold in the third spot of Group F.

“We’ll get there in World Cup. I’m confident under coach Yeng,” Pangilinan said.

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