FIBA: Near-perfect Gilas ready to win for World Cup
Paul Lintag on Feb 21, 2019 10:34 AM
“I don’t think we can be really at 100 percent dahil kulang naman talaga yung preparation time. But if we can make 90 percent, we’ll be okay. That’s good enough to win games,” — Gilas head coach Yeng Guiao.
When Gilas Pilipinas beat Meralco in a practice game barely a week ago the national team was probably at 80 percent.
After spending a good five days in Doha before playing Qatar in their penultimate game of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, it’s realistic to expect that Gilas Pilipinas gained another 10-percent boost in ability and preparedness.
Given the limited time of practice, that’s actually impressive in itself.
“By the time we play, we should be around close to 9, 9 something,” head coach Yeng Guiao said of his national team.
“I don’t think we can be really at 100 percent dahil kulang naman talaga yung preparation time. But if we can make 90 percent, we’ll be okay. That’s good enough to win games,” he added.
Even with a precarious position of fourth place in Group F with an even 5-5 record, Guiao is optimistic that Gilas will pull through and make the FIBA World Cup in China later this year.
With a tight pool of players plus the return of Andray Blatche, cohesion and morale appear to be up as well for the national team.
“I’m confident, I’m happy with this group of guys. They’ve shown their commitment, they’ve shown their abilities. I’m happy with the development with Andray Blatche. He came in and he was in a lot better shape than he was when he first came in for the last… for the previous windows,” Guiao said.
“So that’s really the best sign, I think, for us – he’s game ready. And I didn’t see any problems when he was here on or off the court. He’s somebody who understands the game really well and who loves his teammates. So that’s a really good foundation to build from,” he added.
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