ASIAN GAMES: We're ready to play Korea - Guiao

ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 26, 2018 07:27 PM
 ASIAN GAMES: We're ready to play Korea - Guiao
FILE PHOTO - National Team mentor Yeng Guiao (left) and assistant coach Caloy Garcia discuss a play with Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson during practice at the Gor Pulo Gadung gym in Jakarta, Indonesia (Photo courtesy of Rain or Shine representative Edison Oribiana).

JAKARTA — Head coach Yeng Guiao and the men’s basketball team have made the most of the near weeklong break to prepare for a do-or-die encounter with South Korea on Monday in the 18th Asian Games at the Gelora Bung Karno Basketball Hall.

“It’s the big game and we’re ready to play Korea. I feel good about this game. My feeling—as I’ve said of this game—it is even. Although I feel we have a good chance against the Koreans,” Guiao said.

The Filipinoas had had their last practice session on Sunday and according to Guiao, they are ready for what he considers the “big game” against a squad that has mustered Philippine teams in the past.

Their knockout match against the defending Asian Games champions is set at 10 a.m. (11 a.m. in the Philippines) at the at the Gelora Bung Karno Basketball Hall. The winner will face either Iran or Japan—which face each other at 12:30 p.m.—in the semifinals.

The other quarterfinal matches pit Chinese Taipei against Syria at 4 p.m., and host Indonesia against China at 6:30 p.m.

Guiao conducted a three-hour practice session with his wards—the first hour was a team meeting and viewing of tapes and the final two hours were spent on polishing plays.

“Of course we want to win the game… we want to get to the medal round. We’ve prepared everything and we tried to keep our game plan as simple as we can,” said Guiao, whose team finished with a 1-1 won-lost card to claim the No. 2 spot in Group D behind China’s 2-0.

“But it’s really hard to prepare against a team that has no weakness. We put together a plan that we feel is the best plan we can put together,” he said.

“And a lot will now depend on execution. A lot will also depend on the desire and determination of this group to win,” Guiao added.

Korea, led by naturalized player Ricardo Ratliffe who averaged nearly 24 points with 13 rebounds in the eliminations, finished No. 1 in Group A with a perfect 3-0 record.

Besides the 6-foot-10 Ratliffe, who was the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok import  in the Philippine Basketball Association last season, Korea also has deadly shooters—Lee Jung Hyun, Kim Sunhyung, Heo Ung, Heo Ilyoung and Jeon Junbeom and bigman Kang Sangjae.

As for the Philippines, Guiao of course has National Basketball Association player Jordan Clarkson of the Cleveland Cavaliers, who had 28 points, eight rebound and six assists in an 82-80 loss to China in his debut as a national player last Tuesday.

Guiao said he has put premium on running the team’s system and not to rely heavily on the 6-foot-5 Clarkson.

But Guiao expressed confidence that in tight situations, he knows the Filipino-American can bail them out.

Defense will also be tops on Guiao’s priorities forn the game—stop the Korean shooters and prevent their naturalized player from dominating the shade.

“These are the two important things we have to keep in mind on defense. On offense, I’m not worried because I have enough players who can score,” he said.


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