Asian Games: Guiao feels Philippines now has a chance against China with Clarkson on board
ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 19, 2018 05:44 PM
National Team mentor Yeng Guiao (left) gives pointers to Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson during practice Thursday afternoon at the Gor Pulo Gadung gym in Jakarta, Indonesia (Photo courtesy of Rain or Shine representative Edison Oribiana)
JAKARTA — All that national basketball coach Yeng Guiao wanted was a chance against mighty China, however slim. Then, he could take it from there.
"Kung dati, we are a 100 to 1 underdog against China, ngayon we are just 100 to 20, nadagdagan na ang odds natin," said Guiao, whose wards battle the 2018 Asian Games favorites on Tuesday at 4 p.m. (5 p. m. Manila time)
"We admit talaga naman favorite sila, but I feel the more important thing is now, we feel that we have more of a chance to win. Dati para talagang wala ka chance na manalo sa kanila," Guiao added.
Credit NBA star Jordan Clarkson for the "slight' boost in odds.
"What's good for us is he can draw the defense and free up our shooters. His skills are very good, all of these combined translates to a quicker transition for him to make adjustments. So it's going to be two against one, Clarkson vs the two NBA Chinese players, "added Guiao, referring to players Zhou Qi and Ding Yanyuang.
Qi is a 7'1" backup slotman of the Houston Rockets, while Ding is a 6'7" forward of the Dallas Mavericks.
“China is bringing their best team in the Asian Games. They are solid on all fronts specially their frontline,” said the Philippine Team's chief scout Ryan Gregorio, himself a three-time PBA champion coach.
“Zhou Qi is tall and quick. He has a range that can extend to the 3-point range. He has great anticipation skills on defense. Ding is quick and strong, and has long range,” added Gregorio.
One of the plans, according to Guiao, is try to keep the game close, be aggressive the entire 40 minutes and out-run their rivals.
"We will try to duplicate the defense that we did against Kazakhstan," said Guiao, referring to the 96-59 beating they handed the Kazakhs last Wednesday.
“We will be banking on our quickness. We lack the height and length, but we can compensate with our quickness and intelligence,” seconded Gregorio.