GOAL WITHIN REACH – GUIAO
Four years ago, he was the guy tasked to whip up a bunch of guys tasked to get the Philippines back to the World meet. It was a tough job made more difficult by having to wage war on hostile territory.
Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao, chief tactician of the Philippine national team that played in the 2009 FIBA Asia joust in Tianjin, China, believes Gilas Pilipinas’ chances of achieving its goal this time is a lot better.
The Philippines finished 8th in Tianjin, and failed to make it to the World Championship in Turkey.
The lack of ceiling, a perennial problem the Filipinos have faced in previous FIBA Asia meets, will not be felt as much this time with the emergence of young big and mobile centers helping out naturalized slotman Marcus Douthit.
“Expectedly, they should be able to address the size differential better and they also have a lot of outside shooters, so that is another concern that has been addressed,” said Guiao.
With able bodies in every position, Gilas Pilipinas has been working on how to defend the likes of defending champion China, Iran and the other Middle Eastern teams, which boast of much taller and heftier players, and the speedier crews from Korea and Chinese-Taipei.
“We need to be very versatile, we can play up-tempo, we can go down low if we need to. But we have to have a lot of speed, quickness and athleticism and a lot of outside shooting,” said Gilas head coach Reyes. “And I think the lineup bears that.”
One other thing working in Gilas’ favour is the Middle Eastern teams’ slow turnover of talent.
“Yung mga regular superstars or key players nila mas matanda kesa sa atin dahil nga mas mabagal ang pag-ikot ng talent nila, di kasing-bilis ng China, Japan, Korea or the Philippines,” noted Guiao.
“So I think it will just be a matter of some psychological or mental questions na lang on our part, but nandiyan din ang homecourt advantage kaya all signs are pointing towards the attainment of our objective,” noted Guiao. (JL)
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