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Pingris urges Gilas to play 100-percent

by Dennis Principe

Gilas Pilipinas' Jayson Castro goes for a layup against Malaysia's Wei Hong Choo  (MB photos \ Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

Gilas Pilipinas’ Jayson Castro goes for a layup against Malaysia’s Wei Hong Choo (MB photos \ Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

Former National team mainstay Jean Marc Pingris has urged current Gilas pool members to get used to giving their all, night in and night out, while playing in the ongoing SEABA tournament.

Pingris, who witnessed the one-sided 113-66 victory of Gilas Pilipinas over Singapore Saturday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, does not seem convinced the PBA-backed nationals are at full steam.

This despite the overwhelming strength being shown by Gilas after two playdates in the ongoing regional event.

“Baka nasa four or five (ratings), I mean, nandoon yung puso nila maglaro pero hindi yun 100 percent,” said Pingris. “Kung tutuusin kung talagang seseryosohin nila, hindi sa pagyayabang, baka 20 points o 15 points lang yung kalaban.”

In their SEABA debut last Friday, Gilas thrashed a hapless Myanmar, 147-40, leading critics to label Gilas’ campaign as an “overkill,” something which Pingris said should be a non-issue.

What is important, added Pingris, is for the Gilas players not to play at half strength as this would not help the newly-formed squad in jumpstarting their campaign towards their main goal.

“Gusto kong sabihin sa kanila, kahit hindi malakas yung team kailangan ibigay pa din nila 100 percent nila. Dun na mag-start yan. Madadala nila yan, sa practice o game man, kahit hindi malakas ang kalaban nila,” said Pingris.

Labeled as Gilas 5.0, the current roster is composed of seven mainstays in Calvin Abueva, Japeth Aguilar, Terrence Romeo, Jayson Castro, JuneMar Fajardo, Troy Rosario and Andray Blatche.

The five first-timers are Jio Jalalon, Matthew Wright, Allein Maliksi, Raymond Almazan and Roger Pogoy.

The team, coached by comebacking guru Chot Reyes, is in the process of forming a solid team for the 2019 FIBA World qualifier.

Watch the video interview with Pingris below.