Nenad Vucinic leaves Gilas to pursue opportunities in New Zealand, says SBP spox

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 18) — Nenad Vucinic has left Gilas Pilipinas as part of the coaching staff.

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director and spokesperson Sonny Barrios clarified the Serbian-Kiwi tactician did not resign but did not renew his contract with Gilas so he can look for options in New Zealand.

Vucinic called the shots for Gilas in the third window of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers, where the national team had a split outing against New Zealand and India.

"From what I understand, I will not term it as resignation. His contract is only up to August and he decided to pursue other opportunities in New Zealand," he told CNN Philippines' Sports Desk Thursday.

With Vucinic out, Gilas' coaching staff will be comprised of top mentor Chot Reyes, Tim Cone, Jong Uichico and Josh Reyes for the August 25 game against Lebanon in Beirut and the August 29 match against Saudi Arabia at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.

Gilas' preparation is now in full swing for the fourth window of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers with two prized players set to join the national squad's training soon.

"Kai (Sotto) is arriving tonight, Jordan (Clarkson) is arriving tomorrow night. So Kai will start practicing tomorrow and Jordan will start practice on Saturday," Barrios said.