While Gilas Pilipinas is trying its best to form a stronger lineup for the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, there’s one concern that has yet to be tackled.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) executive director Sonny Barrios said the head coaching position for the tourney is still up in the air and might depend on Gilas tactician Chot Reyes’ status with TNT Tropang Giga.
There is a big possibility that Reyes and the Tropang Giga could advance in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup finals as they enjoy a commanding 3-1 lead against Magnolia in the semifinals.
The all-Filipino finals might be held within the third to last week of August and could clash on Gilas’ schedule for the FIBA World Cup qualifiers on the 25th and 29th.
“Chot and I haven’t talked about it yet. Maybe he doesn’t want to be presumptuous about it,” Barrios, also the federation’s spokesperson, previously said.
Despite the uncertainty, the SBP still has a lot of veteran tacticians to choose from.
Another seasoned mentor in Tim Cone has already joined the sidelines, completing a formidable staff for a star-studded lineup that is bannered by National Basketball Association stalwart Jordan Clarkson, Kai Sotto, Dwight Ramos and Thirdy Ravena.
Serbian coach Nenad Vucinic, meanwhile, called the shots for Gilas against New Zealand and India during the last window of the qualifiers in July.
Even long-time deputy Jong Uichico has been a mainstay in the national team program and led the team in the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers late 2020.
But with the Gilas pool yet to be completed, Barrios said they are focusing on their task at hand.
“We haven’t reached that subject yet. We’re still focusing on the formation of the team,” Barrios said.