Gilas Pilipinas coach Yeng Guiao stepped down after the team went 0-for-5 in the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China.
"In the light of all these developments, I am stepping down, as of today, as the Head Coach of the Gilas Men's Basketball Team, in order 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," read a statement coming from Guiao a day after the team arrived from Beijing.
Guiao took over on a temporary basis after the brawl between Gilas and Australia that led to the suspension of erstwhile head coach Chot Reyes. With not a lot of time to prepare, Guiao led the Philippines to a fifth-place finish in the 2018 Asian Games and this success led to him being named as the official head coach of the Philippine team.
Under Guiao, Gilas Pilipinas stumbled early as they suffered a road loss to Iran in the FIBA Asian Qualifiers but they rebounded with a home win against Qatar. The team suffered painful back-to-back losses at home against Kazakhstan and Iran back in December. However, they rebounded with road wins versus Qatar and Kazakhstan to officially qualify for the World Cup.
During their final lunch before leaving Beijing, Guiao promised his players before they flew back to the country that he'd accept all of the responsibility when they got home.
"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," Guiao's statement read. "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."
Guiao also thanked the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), the PBA and their Board of Governors, along with Philippine Basketball stakeholders in his statement.
The SBP, through President Al Panlilio, has accepted the resignation.
"Coach Yeng Guiao had the unenviable task of picking up the pieces for Gilas Pilipinas Men. 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.
"His selection to take over was unanimous and it spoke volumes about the respect that he has gained throughout his career from all members of the Philippine basketball community. It is with a heavy heart that we accept coach Yeng's resignation as the head coach Glas Pilipinas Men. The SBP thanks him for his contributions and wishes him well in all his future endeavors."