FIBA: Strong prep key for strong Gilas performance in World Cup
Paul Lintag on Mar 21, 2019 05:08 PM
As the national team prepares for a second straight World Cup appearance, this time under coach Yeng Guiao, coach Chot Reyes believes that it's important for Gilas Pilipinas to have a strong training camp before heading to China. (FIBA)
When Gilas Pilipinas was preparing for the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain, head coach Chot Reyes had his national team go through an intense training camp in the lead up to Seville.
Gilas ran the gauntlet in Europe and in the US, taking a beating at the hands of many world-level teams.
But as the national team took beatings for every practice game they played, the rigorous camp helped put the foundation for an inspired World Cup performance.
While the Philippines only ended up with one win in five games, Gilas lost three games by a combined 11 points.
Gilas' worst loss was a 12-point decision against Greece on the second night of a back-to-back-to-back.
"We played very strong teams. Binugbog kami ng Ukraine, Australia. And then we went to France, we played Venezuela, Dominican Republic, that really toughened us up," Reyes said.
"Malaking bagay talaga yun," he added.
As the national team prepares for a second straight World Cup appearance, this time under coach Yeng Guiao, coach Chot believes that it's important for Gilas Pilipinas to undergo a similar kind of training before heading to China.
It's almost a requirement as Gilas looks to improve upon its finish from five years ago.
"I think it's very important. Yun ang pinaka-malaking bagay eh. Kasi nung nag-pocket tournament kami, when we played France, dinikitan kami until the last quater pero the next day binugbog kami ng Ukraine, and then binugbog kami ng Australia," he said.
"But when we got to down to Madrid and Gudalajara, sinabayan naman namin yung Venezuela, Dominican Republic, all those strong teams. Talo pa rin, pero at least sumasabay, nafe-feel ng players gumagaling sila, lumalakas sila, nakaka-sabay. And I think that feeling spilled over sa actual World Cup. So nung pagdating nung actual na laban, the players had a very good feeling about themselves," Reyes added.
Ultimately, it's that feeling Reyes wants the current Gilas team to achieve.
It's not going to matter in the grand scheme of things if Gilas loses all of its practice games ahead of the 2019 FIBA World Cup. As long as the national team gains enough experience to win in the games that actually matter, that's what counts in the end.
"It's very important for this team to get that same feeling going into the competition," Reyes said.
"They should have a good feeling about gemselves that they can compete with anybody, with those teams we're playing against," he added.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8