Philippine men’s national hoop squad disbanded
In a stunning turn of events that will elicit varied reactions from different corners of this basketball loving country, the Philippine national men’s basketball squad dubbed “Gilas Pilipinas” has been disbanded by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).
In addition to hitting the reset button on the popular national basketball squad that brought immense pride to the country, especially during their gallant campaign in the Fiba Basketball World Cup last September, the SBP has also given the pink slip to controversial head coach Chot Reyes.
According to a report that was posted on Spin.ph, SBP president and sports patron Manny V. Pangilinan has approved of the plan to create a selection committee with the task of “searching and appointing the national team’s new coach, as well as the formation of the new pool of Gilas players.” This was approved during the SBP’s board of trustees meeting that was held last Tuesday.
The Gilas Pilipinas brought the Filipinos’ love for the sport to the international stage during the Fiba World Cup in September with unforgettable performances against renowned basketball powerhouses Argentina, Croatia, Greece and Puerto Rico. Though it finished with a subpar 1-4 (win-loss) record during the said competition, the Gilas captured the world’s fancy as they fought tooth-and-nail with the said teams in spite of their obvious lack of height and heft.
However, as high as the team rose, it landed with a resounding thud during the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea just weeks after the World Cup, where it ended up in seventh place—the country’s worst finish in the quadrennial tournament.
Reyes stirred up a veritable hornet’s nest in that tournament as he publicly humiliated naturalized player Marcus Douthit after a loss to Qatar, accusing the long-time national squad big man of quitting on the team.