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Time is vital – Yeng

 

By JONAS TERRADO

 

Gilas Pilipinas coach Yeng Guiao admitted that time is of the essence for the team he will assemble for this month’s fourth window of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, with familiarity perhaps one of the key issues he’ll face compared to his recent stint handling the national team in the Asian Games.

With a different team expected to be fielded compared to the one he coached to a fifth place finish in the quadrennial meet held in Jakarta, Guiao hopes to maximize whatever time Gilas has before plunging into the second round action with games against Iran on Sept. 13 and Qatar on Sept. 17.

“Hindi kamukha nung sa Rain or Shine (core) na medyo meron konting common denominator dahil galing ako dun. Pero since ang matitira sa Rain or Shine siguro mga tatlo na lang and yung the rest papasok di na Rain or Shine, we will need more time to put in the system,” Guiao said.
Eight players from the Asian Games squad were invited for the FIBA preparation which began last night at the Meralco gym, namely Paul Lee, Stanley Pringle, Christian Standhardinger, Gabe Norwood, Raymond Almazan, Poy Erram, Beau Belga and Asi Taulava.

The rest are San Miguel Beer’s Alex Cabagnot and Marcio Lassiter, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s Scottie Thompson and Greg Slaughter, Magnolia’s Ian Sangalang, Blackwater’s Allen Maliksi and Phoenix’s Matthew Wright.

Wright will serve a one-game suspension in the Sept. 13 match against Iran in Tehran due to his role in the infamous fight between Gilas and Australia last July but is eligible to play in the Sept. 17 closed-door home game opposite Qatar at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Guiao and Gilas are due to leave for Tehran on Sept. 10, three days ahead of the first second round match, thus leaving them only a week to hone their skills.

“We are used to cramming anyway,” he said. “But again, time is the problem. Nandyan na yung willingness (ng PBA) to contribute players but I hope we can whip up the team in competitive condition in the next week or so.”

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