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Gilas must win match vs China

Scaling the Great Wall of China on the very first day of hostilities in the FIBA Asia Cup next month in Lebanon is going to determine where Gilas Pilipinas will end up, head coach Chot Reyes admitted yesterday in Pasig City.

“The biggest problem in the FIBA Asia is we have to beat China in game one,” said Reyes during a press briefing hosted by Chooks-To-Go, the team’s patron, at the Marco Polo Hotel.

It is imperative that Gilas top its group to avoid a collision course with two heavyweights that used to slug it out in another regional qualifier: Australia and New Zealand.

“We have to top our group. If we do not, even if we go all the way to quarters, chances are we are going to play either New Zealand or Australia, and that’s going to be very, very difficult,” said Reyes.

Owing to the players’ commitment with their mother teams in the Governors’ Cup, Reyes has been unable to gather everyone in practice as he is left with no choice but to make the most out of the time available.

Still, Reyes insists that the players are out to make a splash for flag and country during the Aug. 8 to 20 cagefest in Beirut.

“We’re going to face huge task in 10 days, 10 days before we face the best in Asia, We hardly had any complete practice yet. Regardless of our problems nobody’s going to outfight us. We might get into fights or bad situations but we’re never going to be outfought.”

The players picked by Reyes to slug it out with Asia and Oceania’s finest include June Mar Fajardo, Jayson Castro, Gabe Norwood, Raymond Almazan, Terrence Romeo, Calvin Abueva, Japeth Aguilar, Roger Pogoy, Matthew Wright, Jio Jalalon, Carl Bryan Cruz and 6-8 Fil-German Christian Standhardinger, who has been classified as naturalized player.

Since efforts to recruit Andray Blatche went down the drain, Stanhardinger will fill the void let by the 6-11 former NBA player.

The 28-year-old Standhardinger made his national team debut in the recent William Jones Cup in Taipei, where Gilas placed fourth overall.

Gilas is in Group B together with Iran, China and Qatar, and the national team will open its campaign versus the Chinese on Aug. 9, followed by a game with the Iraqis on the 11th, and Qataris on the 13th.

  • sports consultant

    To overcome the game opening loss against China, Gilas must accurately do the following;
    a. Maximize the playing time of Japeth and Junmar.
    b. Standhardinger and Almazan must be the only replacement of Fajardo and Aguilar.
    c. Wright, Norwood, Cruz, Pogoy must be above 50% in shooting from the Arc
    d. Accurate Play making are the priority of the point guards.
    e. Brilliant combination and plays from the coach, two PG in the floor is detrimental.