FIBA: With “PUSO,” Gilas can and will fight at World Cup says Balkman

Paul Lintag on Jul 11, 2019 12:50 PM
FIBA: With “PUSO,” Gilas can and will fight at World Cup
“Listen, one thing I know about Gilas and the Filipinos, they play pretty hard. They got a lot of heart. I know that for a fact,” Balkman said.

Following a practice game between his Mighty Sports team and Gilas Pilipinas, Renaldo Balkman had a pretty good look at how the national team is doing in preparation for the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China.

Mighty Sports is preparing for the 2019 Jones Cup and before leaving for Taipei, the team played Gilas in a practice game Monday.

Balkman, whose Puerto Rico squad beat Gilas at the last World Cup five years ago, says that the Philippines is in a tough set in China as they play Serbia, Italy, and Angola.

However, Gilas was in a tough group in 2014 as well and that didn’t stop the national team from an inspired performance. It would be no surprise with the scrappy Filipinos can put together some strong games in China.

Balkman knows because he had to deal with it already before.

“Listen, one thing I know about Gilas and the Filipinos, they play pretty hard. They got a lot of heart. I know that for a fact,” Balkman said.

“If they play aggressive and if they play with their hearts, anything can happen,” he added.

On paper, Gilas will be at a disadvantage against Serbia, Italy, and even Angola.

But when the teams take the court in China, all games start out even and that’s where Gilas can pounce says Balkman.

“They definitely have a chance. At the beginning of the game it’s 0-0. You know how this game goes, it’s up and down. It’s a game of runs,” Balkman said.

“When the fourth quarter comes, they might win on a buzzer beater you never know,” he added.

A Gilas foe in the previous World Cup, Balkman is now a supporter as the Philippines makes a return trip to the World Championships.

“Like I said, these guys play with heart I tell you that right now. Best wishes to them, I know a lot of them. Good luck in the World Cup, I’ll be watching and supporting,” Balkman said.

 

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