By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Gilas Pilipinas recently announced a major development in their coaching and roster build-up heading into the first window of the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers.
Marc Pingris, one of the main enforcers and a key piece to the Philippines’ FIBA World Cup qualification last 2013, was named as the national team’s assistant coach this 2022.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) deputy executive director and Gilas’ team manager Butch Antonio confirmed the development regarding Pingris’ addition to the star-studded coaching staff.
Pingris will also reunite with the coach that steered them during their magical 2013 FIBA run, Chot Reyes, who is back taking over Gilas’ chief tactician duties when he replaced coach Tab Baldwin a week ago.
The six-foot-four power forward from Pangasinan played a vital role during the 2013 FIBA qualifiers and showed that size doesn’t matter as he battled against the giants of Southeast Asia.
Pingris was also the ultimate example of what “Puso” means for the national team and became one of the main leaders of the team together with team captain Jimmy Alapag.
Despite accepting the commissioner job in the Pilipinas Super League, president Rocky Chan extended his utmost support to Pingris’ national team duties and shared that he will take over his role for the meantime together with vice president Rey Alao, and deputy commissioner Chelito Caro.
“We are supporting Comm Ping’s decision kasi it’s for the country. We are 100-percent behind him!” said Chan.
Pingris will join Chot and Josh Reyes, Jong Uichico, and New Zealand legendary orchestrator Nenad Vucinic in the list of Gilas’ coaching staff.