3 Reasons Why Smart Gilas Should Retain Rajko Toroman

Coach Rajko Toroman in the huddle with Smart Gilas Pilipinas

“I told Mr. MVP that I want to continue the work” Toroman said in an interview by GMA News.

With his contract with SMART-Gilas over, coach Rajko will have to wait for MVP’s decision whether extend coach Rajko’s tenure or not. But before knowing his fate, he will go home to Serbia and take a break from everything and return on November 15 where he and MVP would talk about his future.

Rajko Toroman has got to be one of the biggest names in international basketball. He led Iran to it’s first Olympic appearance in history. He’s known for his military type of system, and his family-oriented style outside of the court. He is fierce and loud inside the court but a nice man outside. Even opposing coaches respects coach Rajko.  You have to give coach Rajko the respects he deserves. He is truly a great man and a better coach.

He’s so good that coaches like, Tim Cone, Jong Uichico, Chot Reyes, Ryan Gregorio, Allan Caidic are all behind him. He is a smart and clever coach that will do everything in the context of the game to win. With his experience in international play, he led a group of young inexperienced fresh graduate players and molded them to be the best players that they can be. He led these special young men to it’s first FIBA Asia tournament and took the tournament by surprise.

However, some of us are saying that coach Toroman isn’t really the right coach for us. Some of us are pointing out to the fact that he still doesn’t know his players after all those 3 years he trained them. Some of us are complaining why he didn’t gave Japeth Aguilar more playing time, after all Japeth’s length and athletic ability could help to boost our team’s energy and defense.

Despite all of these negative comments about coach Rajko, most of us are still supporting him. Coach Rajko is the best man for the head coaching slot in SMART-Gilas.

Here are the reasons why..

3. Experience

Coach Rajko Toroman while leading Iran in the 2008 Olympics.

As you can see above, coach Rajko has been in this situation before already. He led Iran to its first Olympic berth in their history. That alone can very well be a good reason for MVP to extend his contract.

Toroman has previously coached the Yugoslavian national team (1991-1996), the Yugoslavian under-23 national team (1996) and the Iranian national team  (2007-2008) which, as we said, he led to the Olympics. He has a lot of coaching experience in Europe and he is also very familiar with international play.

Furthermore, with the fact that Toroman led the SMART-Gilas Pilipinas team in the semis of the FIBA Asia tournament despite the fact that 9 of its players are rookies in the tournament.

2. Trusted and Respected By Players and Coaches

According to Chris Tiu (via blog), in their first team building session 2 years ago, coach Rajko Toroman gave them chips that they would have to give the person that they trust the most in the team, and most of them gave their chips to coach Rajko, and then coach Rajko gave his chip to Chris.

As you can see, since their first session, coach Rajko Toroman earned the trust and respect of the team already, and his players eventually earned his respect and trust as well. Coach Rajko is a family-oriented guy like how all of us Filipinos are. He instilled values to his players that they would carry until their death. Coach Rajko Toroman is a great man indeed and you will notice because even other coaches from other teams respects him, a lot.

1. He Has To Finish What He Started

He started the program, and he should continue the program as well.

When the program was established, we were in the 8th place in the 2007 FIBA Asia tournament, with professional players leading the way. But now in the last FIBA Asia tourney we finished 4th with most of the players are picked right straight from college, and not to mention in their first FIBA Asia tourney with 4 PBA reinforcements.

Now, despite the disappointing end to our 2012 Olympics bid, we are still on the right track. We just made the foundation for our future national team, and all we can do is get better and learn from our mistakes. Coach Rajko is also open to the idea that PBA players will be lended to the national team once again.

“We can make a great team” he said regarding the active participation of the PBA in the next national team program.

He started this program and he has certain goals that he has yet to achieve. He doesn’t want to leave his team just yet, he knows that he has a lot of work to do.


One comment on “3 Reasons Why Smart Gilas Should Retain Rajko Toroman

    Great article. Coach Rajko has brought us back to at least being a contender again in Asian basketball. He has transformed a team which was made up mostly of players fresh from the collegiate ranks to being great team players. At least as far as most of us are concerned, we believe that coach Rajko Toroman should be retained.

    There is, however, a cause for concern for us all basketball lovers. Numerous internet sites have it that Hungarian National Basketball Federation is keen on acquiring the services of coach Rajko. Hungary is not new to coach Rajko. I had once read an article that he used to coach one of the top teams in Hungarian basketball league before he was hired by Iran as their National coach. As we all know, he led Iran to its first Asian Championship in 2007 and its first ever Olympic appearance in 2008 Beijing Olympics.

    Although there is an offer from Hungary, let us all hope and pray that said offer will not be too humongous and big for SBP and MVP to match. Also, lets pray that coach Rajko should not price himself out of the GIlas Program. These are the worst cases we can imagine.

    You might hate me for this opinion of mine.lol. Should Coach Rajko and MVP-led SBP fail to come into terms, I believe that coach Chot Reyes should be the most logical choice. He already knows the system which will be implemented for the next two years. He will just have to continue what coach Rajko failed to continue. Who will get to coach Talk N Text then? Team Consultant Norman Black may just be tapped to assume the chores of Head Coach in Talk N Text. This is just an opinion, a worst-case scenario possibility.

    I can be reached on twitter: @jjcaguioa123
    My name is Jen 🙂

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