As he had been saying all along, Yeng Guiao took full responsibility for their poor showing in the FIBA World Cup and announced his resignation as head coach of the national team.
The day after their return from China and after a meeting with Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan and president Al Panlilio, Guiao released a statement, expressing his gratitude to all those who supported their campaign and offered an apology for failing to deliver what expected from them.
On top of everything, Guiao said he's stepping down "to give the SBP a free hand in building and developing a program towards achieving our objective of competing with the best of the best."
The national team program must continue as Gilas Pilipinas is seeded in the 2023 World Cup as the host team. There's also the SEA Games that the country is hosting late this year.
"I knew what conditions existed, what the limitations were, and still, I accepted the challenge. I hold myself responsible for the consequences," said Guiao in his resignation after their calamitous WC showing marked by shattering losses to Euro giants Italy and Serbia, a heartbreaker against Angola and two more lopsided defeats at the hands of Tunisia and Iran.
And after the classification plays involving the 16 teams that missed the second round, Team Phl finished dead last in the 32-team competition.
"Our players gave their best against talented, bigger, stronger, and better-prepared athletes from the best teams in the world. I am sorry we could not deliver a better performance," Guiao said.
Still, Guiao was full of gratefulness in his heart.
"I am truly grateful for the opportunity to serve our country through the sport we love most," he said.
He made special mention of the SBP bosses, the PBA board, PBA commissioner Willie Marcial, the players and their families, his NLEX boss Rod Franco, and key personalities from other PBA teams that put in big help.
"Special mention to Boss Ramon Ang and my friend, Al Chua, as well, for the moral and material support they have extended to our team. My deep gratitude to Boss Raymund Yu and Boss Terry Que for keeping their trust in me and endorsing me to coach the Rain or Shine core team in the 2018 Asian Games, which led to my appointment as head coach of the Gilas team," said Guiao.
"I am truly blessed to have coached the best that Philippine basketball has to offer and to have competed amongst the best in the world. I consider the past year, most especially our participation in the World Cup, as the highlight of my career," he pointed out.
"Even if I had known from the beginning that this would be the end result of my decision to accept this coaching job, I would have had no second thoughts in making the same decision. I have no regrets in having taken the path I have taken in the past year; the only regret is that I would have wanted the team to have performed better on the world stage," he added. (SB)