FIBA WORLD CUP: Pressure mounts for Guiao with "best Philippine team ever"

Paul Lintag on Nov 08, 2018 06:27 PM
Pressure mounts for Guiao with
The best Gilas team ever can prove itself soon as the Philippines hosts Kazakhstan and Iran in the 5th window of the Asian Qualifiers.

Upon the announcement of Gilas Pilipinas' new 20-man pool for the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, talks about how this is the best Philippine team ever assembled have surfaced as well.

And with good reason.

The lineup currently looks like this, for those who missed it:

Jayson Castro
Paul Lee
Stanley Pringle
Alex Cabagnot
LA Tenorio
Matthew Wright
Marcio Lassiter
Ricci Rivero
Scottie Thompson
Gabe Norwood
Troy Rosario
Arwind Santos
Japeth Aguilar
Greg Slaughter
June Mar Fajardo
Beau Belga
Christian Standhardinger
JP Erram
Ian Sangalang
Kai Sotto

It's certainly the tallest, most imposing, and perhaps most balanced pool in the whole of Gilas Pilipinas, and this is without regulars Andray Blatche, Terrence Romeo, Calvin Abueva, and RR Pogoy.

So talks about how this is the best Philippine team ever assembled have some traction and members of the team are feeling it now even before their first practice session.

Because if this is truly the Avengers version of Gilas Pilipinas, they have no reason not to impress. There's no Thanos in the Asian Qualifiers.

"You know, you feel a little bit of pressure. Dapat malakas yung team na ito," head coach Yeng Guiao said of his national team.

"On paper, it looks lke that [best Philippine team ever] but on paper is always different sa actual so nadadagdagan yung pressure sa akin pag ganoon. Though sabi ko nga, nandiyan naman parati yan [pressure], but we'll try to whip it into the best team that people expect it to be," he added.

The best Gilas team ever can prove itself soon as the Philippines hosts Kazakhstan and Iran in the 5th window of the Asian Qualifiers.

It's imperative for Gilas to score a sweep for a number of reasons.

First, a sweep protects home court and second, beating Kazakhstan and Iran likely clinches Gilas' spot in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Finally, it's a chance to showcase what a unified national team can do.

"Ang importante naman dito is manalo tayo sa Kazakhstan at sa Iran eh. Yun lang muna kasi I think pag nangyari yun, malaki na chance natin sa World Cup which is the ultimate objective anyway," Guiao added.

With full support of the PBA and SBP, Gilas Pilipinas can form the ultimate team everytime.

Now, it's just time to win.

"Naniniwala ako na the strength of the national team is proportional to the strength of your professional league eh. Pag malakas ang professional league mo sa isang bansa, lumalakas ang national team mo because your pool really comes from your professional players, so it’s going to be a reflection of the PBA," Guiao said.

"That responsibility is on our shoulders and we hope we can live up to it," he added.

 


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