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SBP grateful to Yeng Guiao for standing against the odds

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The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) accepted “with a heavy heart” the resignation of Gilas Pilipinas coach Yeng Guiao, who resigned after a dismal 0-5 record of the national team in the Fiba World Cup.

SBP president Al Panlilio praised Guiao for taking on the job and staying professional against the odds.

“It is with heavy heart that we accept coach Yeng’s resignation as the head coach of Gilas Pilipinas Men’s,” said Panlilio. “The SBP thanked him for his contributions and wishes him well in all his future endeavors.”

Guiao took over the reins after the Gilas was almost wiped out following the suspensions handed out by Fiba in the aftermath of the brawl that marred the World Cup qualifier between Australia and the Philippines.

A total of 10 players were meted suspensions of varying lengths, along with coach Chot Reyes and deputy Jong Uichico.

“Even if the odds were stacked against him from the start, he took on the challenge head on and gave it his best shot,” said Panlilio in a statement shortly after Guiao resigned as coach of the men’s national team on Wednesday.

Guiao had to assemble a hastily-former Gilas team to the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia and steered the Filipinos to a fighting fifth-place finish.

After struggling a bit when he finally coached the national team in the World Cup qualifiers, the 60-year-old mentor had to make some last-minute adjustments in order to steer the Filipinos to a second straight stint in the FIBA World Cup.