The search for the next Gilas Pilipinas head coach now begins after Yeng Guiao tendered his resignation. But the selection process could be more tedious than many will anticipate.
Guiao resigned from his post exactly one year after erstwhile national coach Chot Reyes stepped down. During his time with Gilas, Guiao led the country to another World Cup appearance and, despite the results, has been lauded for his efforts.
Many names have been cropping up, so we came up with our own initial list (in alphabetical order, and not official):
Former PBA MVP, former Gilas captain, former Gilas assistant coach, coach of 2018 ABL champions San Miguel Alab Pilipinas, assistant coach for the San Miguel Beermen
Pluses: Proven winner. Heart and soul of Gilas. Has had championship coaching experience with Alab and now with the San Miguel Beermen. Respected by all players.
Minuses: Still a relative greenhorn in coaching.
5x national team coach, 4x NBL (Australia) Coach of the Year, FIBA Oceania champions (2001-New Zealand), steered the Philippines to a silver medal finish in the 2015 FIBA Asian Championship, 2x UAAP champion (Ateneo de Manila University)
Pluses: The consensus top candidate. Steered many national programs to success (Philippines included). A master at the international game. Proven track record at attaining results. Popular among younger players.
Minuses: Currently tied with Ateneo. May not be popular among all pro players, especially the older ones.
The only 2x PBA Grand Slam champion coach, 21 PBA championships (most all-time), 3x PBA Coach of the Year, steered 1998 Philippine team to bronze medal in the Asian Games (last podium finish in that competition)
Pluses: Track record speaks for itself. Adapts his system to personnel at hand. Perhaps the one on this list who will command the most respect from the players.
Minuses: Could have commitment issues with his job in the PBA.
3x PBA Coach of the Year, 3x PBA champion, part of Gilas coaching staff since last year, Chief Scout of Yeng Guiao for 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers and 2019 FIBA World Cup
Pluses: Has been involved in several Gilas systems. Best among candidates in terms of scouting. Strong ties with SBP (also serves as Special Assistant to SBP President Al Panlilio). No transitional issues foreseen within the federation.
Minuses: Has not been a head coach since 2014. Could have too many things on his plate with his other jobs (SBP, Meralco, etc). Never been a head coach in international competition.
Former NBA assistant coach (Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs), 2x national team coach, steered Nigeria to Gold Medal in 2015 FIBA AfroBasket (qualified for 2016 Olympics-finished 11th)
Pluses: Knows how to turn international programs around. Coaching experience is vast despite age. Develops players and creates systems that fit the country he services. In a recent interview with Quinito Henson of the Philippine Star, Voigt said he was open to coaching Gilas.
Minuses: Unknown to the Philippine hoops community. Will have to imbibe Philippine basketball culture and establish relationships with key elements of the program quickly. Needs to prove himself despite already having a solid resume.
Alex Compton - He was once the direct deputy of Baldwin at Gilas. Compton, who recently resigned from the Alaska Aces now has the advantage of having only the national program to focus on.
Brian Rowsom (Head Coach, CLS Knights-Indonesia) - He just led his his squad to its first ABL championship and once indicated that he was interested in testing the waters in the Philippines. The Knights bucked the odds and won the ABL title despite being the seventh seeded team in the playoffs with a group of almost nondescript players. Rowsom, a former NBA player for the Charlotte Hornets, was also the former head coach of the Qatar national team.