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Yeng confident versus Koreans




COACH Yeng Guiao


JAKARTA, Indonesia – Who’s afraid of the Koreans?

Obviously not Philippine team coach Yeng Guiao.

Emboldened even more by the presence of NBA player in Jordan Clarkson of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Guiao believes the Nationals are now on an equal footing with the Koreans.

“Historically, the Koreans… it’s always hard to win against them, and most of the time our national team end up losing,” said Guiao prior to the team’s practice Friday at the GMSB gym here.

“This time, I have a good feeling that with Jordan Clarkson, and of course the way the players are playing, the way they are developing and the way we are getting that cohesion, I think things are even this time going to the game against Korea,” added Guiao.

In his debut for the Rain or Shine-led PH team, the 6-foot-5 Clarkson collected 28 points, eight rebounds and six assists in the team’s heart-breaking 82-80 loss to the Chinese in the Jakarta- Palembang Asian Games here.

Guiao also got solid performances from Stanley Pringle, who scored 18 points, and Christian Standhardinger, who had 16 points and Lee had 10 points off the bench.

Guiao, however, is hoping to get the most from his brave men when they clash with the Koreans in a knockout quarterfinal on Monday at 11 a.m. (Manila time).

The Nationals finished No. 2 in Group D with the mighty Chinese topping the group elims with a 2-0 card.

The Koreans likewise dominated their rivals, completing a 3-0 win – thanks to the solid effort of naturalized player Ricardo Ratliffe, who averaged 23.3 points and 13 rebounds.

Aside from the 6-foot-10 Ratliffe, who played as import for the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok in the PBA last season, Korea will also have its deadly shooters like Lee Jung Hyun, Kim Sunhyung, Heo Ung, Heo Ilyoung, Jeon Junbeom and bigman Kang Sangjae.

Guiao, however, is confident the national team is ready for the challenge in their make-or-break encounter as the winner meets either Iran or Syria in the semifinal round of the Asian Games.

Tha t conf idence o f Guiao emanated from the team’s gutsy stand with the Chinese.

“In our game against China, we were not as efficient,” said Guiao. “It was actually Jordan’s first game after the NBA Finals with the Cavs. So we’re expecting a little bit more efficiency with the Korea game.”

“The players are really motivated. As I have mentioned, we will prepare as hard as we can, and we’ll play as hard as we can just like we did in our game against China,” added Guiao. (Waylon Galvez)