MANILA -- The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas on Wednesday officially named Mark Dickel as the head coach for Gilas Pilipinas Men in the first window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.
Dickel, currently the coaching consultant of TNT in the Philippine Basketball Association, will take over the coaching reins for Gilas Men in the first two games of the qualifiers, a Feb. 20 showdown against Thailand at home and a Feb. 23 game against Indonesia in Jakarta.
This will be the first time the 43-year-old Kiwi will handle a national team since coaching Albania from 2010-2011, all while playing for Greek side Trikala, Kiwi squad Southland Sharks, and Australian club Sydney Kings.
Recruited to assist head coach Bong Ravena in 2018, Dickel helped the KaTropa make it to the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals, and came close to another championship series stint in the Governors' Cup.
“In his short stint in the Philippines, Coach Mark has performed creditably well,” said SBP chairman emeritus Manny Pangilinan in a statement.
“We all know what he did to help TNT in such a short span and we’re confident he can also move things quickly as we prepare for the first window this February,” he added.
SBP, however, clarified that Dickel is just an "interim" coach for Gilas Men and still intends to name its full-time head coach for the rest of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers by November, just before the second window. (PNA)