SBP: No replacement yet for Vucinic

Rey Joble

Posted at Aug 19 2022 11:21 PM

Basketball coach Nenad Vucinic. Alberto Estevez, EPA-EFE
Basketball coach Nenad Vucinic. Alberto Estevez, EPA-EFE

Replacing Nenad Vucinic, who resigned recently as member of the Gilas Pilipinas coaching staff, is not a priority for the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).

SBP president Al Panlilio and Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes confirmed the news to ABS-CBN News.

"Tim Cone is part of it now," said Panlilio during the PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven championship series press conference at Novotel. "Goldwyn (Monteverde) is also a part of the staff, but he's currently training UP, so he won't be available for the coming tournament."

"But we have enough coaches naman who are there. Coach Jong Uichico, who is a pillar in the SBP Coaches' Commission, is still around. So Chot is getting a lot of help."

Reyes agreed with Panlilio's observation, even when he had to double shift on his duties as coach of the national team and the TNT Tropang Giga, who are currently defending their championship against the mighty San Miguel Beermen.

The Tropang Giga and the Beermen will begin their championship series on Sunday, but Reyes will have to make the ultimate sacrifice of not coaching his PBA squad as he'll be handling Gilas PIlipinas in the fourth window of the World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

On Sunday night, right after the Tropang Giga's series opener against the Beermen, Reyes will leave immediately to join Gilas Pilipinas, who'll be off to Beirut.

The Nationals will face Lebanon on August 25 (August 26, 2 a.m. in Manila). Gilas Pilipinas will also battle Saudi Arabia at home on August 29.

But Panlilio spoke on the contributions of Vucinic, who was brought in by then Gilas coach Tab Baldwin to become a part of his coaching staff as consultant.

"I have all praises for Coach Nenad," added Panlilio. "He's a very good coach and a principled person. I also spoke to him yesterday (Thursday) before he left. It's good to hear for him in our conversation and there's a good opportunity in the future that we can still work together and we look forward to that. He just had some commitments to attend now, but he's willing to come back in the future."