Uichico named Gilas head coach


Joseph Enri que “Jong ” Uichico will be calling the shots for Gilas Pilipinas in the second window of the Internatio­nal Basketball Federation (Fiba) Asia Cup qualifiers from November 27 to 30 in a bubble environmen­t in Manama, Bahrain.

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) announced the many-time national head coach’s appointmen­t in an online news conference on Thursday.

“The national team director is Tab Baldwin and the head coach is Jong Uichico,” said SBP President Al Panlilio, who was joined by Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, Baldwin, special Assistant Ryan Gregorio and Uichico during the news conference hosted by Paolo Del Rosario.

Uichico, 58, coached the non-profession­al national team that won the gold medal in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur.

Panlilio also announced the appointmen­ts of San Beda Red Lions Head Coach Boyet Fernandez and TNT Tropang Giga Assistant Coach Alton Lister as Uichico’s deputies.

Uichico will be coaching an all- amateur team in Bahrain.

“We might lack experience. Yes, we might lack some size, but the energy that they will give us will be a positive advantage that we can use in our games. They will give us the energy that we need,” said Uichico, who also called the shots for the national team in the Busan 2002 Asian Games.

The 16-player pool is composed of Kobe Paras, brothers Mike and Matt Nieto, Angelo Kouame, Isaac Go, Justine Baltazar, Dave Ildefonso, Juan and Javi Gomez de Liaño, Calvin Oftana, Will Navarro, Dwight Ramos, Kenmark Carino, Jaydee Tungcab, Rey Suerte and Allyn Bulanadi.

The Philippine­s is in Bracket A with South Korea, Indonesia and Thailand. Gilas will play Thailand on November 27 and then South Korea, Indonesia and again Thailand for the next three days. The team flies to Bahrain on Sunday.

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