FIBA WORLD CUP ASIAN QUALIFIERS: PBA playoff race has kept Gilas stars sharp ahead of new window
Paul Lintag on Jun 28, 2018 12:36 PM
The intense playoff race in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup should help compensate for the national team's lack of fluid preparation against Taipei and Australia.
Gilas Pilipinas is pressed for time once again heading to a new FIBA World Cup window.
However, all local players are practically as sharp as ever as the Philippines ends round 1 of the Asian Qualifiers starting with the rematch against Chinese Taipei in Taipei Friday.
With the exception of Andray Blatche, who is looking mean and lean, and newbie Troy Rike, all players in the Gilas pool were competing hard in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup.
The intense playoff race in the mid-season joust should help compensate for the national team's lack of fluid preparation against Taipei and Australia says Gabe Norwood.
"We've all been playing meaningful games. I think that's big for us," the Rain or Shine forward said.
"We're still in our season. We're still in game mode, attack mode. I think as long as we keep the fire that we've been playing in the PBA, carry that over, and we can do good things," he added.
The Philippines is safely through to the second round but the final window of the opening round still has some crucial effects moving forward.
Teams qualified in the second round will carry their first round records over. Gilas is currently at 3-1, behind Australia (4-0).
"We don't want to be complacent, every win counts," Norwood said.
"We need as big of an advantage as we can get going to the next round. Right now that's our mindset, win as many as we can," he added.
Gilas Pilipinas will meet Taipei on the road Friday before hosting the Boomers at the Philippine Arena on Monday, July 2.
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