IT seemed that the FIBA has just put one over the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas in this one.
While the SBP has yet to name an interim coach for Gilas Pilipinas’ campaign in the first window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers next month, TNT active consultant Mark Dickel and assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga, and Serbian strategist Nenac Trunic have been listed as Gilas coaches in the FIBA website.
The Australian-Kiwi Dickel has been calling the shots for the KaTropa in the pro league since 2018, replacing Nash Racela.
Arespacochaga is currently Batang Gilas strategist and Tab Baldwin’s lead deputy at Ateneo in the UAAP. He also served as an assistant with Gilas.
Trunic was the technical director, coordinator of coaching staff and manager of training technology for Iran’s youth program.
There are 13 amateur standouts in the 24-man training pool bannered by the likes of Isaac Go, Rey Suerte, Allyn Bulanadi, and twins Matt and Mike Nieto.
The rest of the amateurs are Thirdy Ravena, Kobe Paras, Jaydee Tungcab, brothers Juan and Javi Gomez de Liano, Dave Ildefonso, Fil-Am Dwight Ramos, and Justine Baltazar.
Reinforcing the pool are pros Marc Pingris, Japeth Aguilar, Kiefer Ravena, JP Erram, Roger Pogoy, Troy Rosario, Christian Standhardinger, Matthew Wright, Rayray Parks, CJ Perez, and Mac Belo.
The Filipino dribblers are bracket in Group A with Thailand, Indonesia, and old nemesis South Korea.
Gilas begins its bid when it battles Thailand on Feb. 20 on the road before clashing with Indonesia at home three days later.
“We’re not ready to announce a full-time coach in February for sure,” SBP president Al Panlilio said earlier this month. – Michael Jugado