MANILA, Philippines – There is no shortage of talent for Gilas Pilipinas thanks to its deep 20-man pool, but the problem it faces now is how to mesh the team well together.
Christian Standhardinger stressed that Gilas should focus on developing its chemistry heading into the fifth window of the World Cup qualifiers after falling to Jordan, 92-98, in a tuneup game on Monday, November 19.
“Obviously, we need to really work on our connections. We have 20 guys in the pool right now so we need to really focus on getting the chemistry down,” he told reporters after the game.
Only 12 of the 20 pool players saw action against the Jordanians and Team Pilipinas head coach Yeng Guiao took the opportunity to tinker with his rotations.
After a sluggish start that saw them trail by double digits, the Nationals found their footing and held the upper hand momentarily in the first half.
But Jordan proved to be the better squad as it controlled the last two quarters en route to the triumph.
“Obviously, you’re trying to win every game, but in this game it was more important that we try something out, try new things out to know exactly how our teammates run from different teams in the PBA,” Standhardinger said.
“I think we did that. And I think it’s a long journey, but I think we will be ready.”
Standhardinger, though, didn’t have any problems connecting with San Miguel teammates June Mar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, Alex Cabagnot, and Arwind Santos after they were fielded all at once by Guiao.
After all, he finished with a team-high 21 points to pace Team Pilipinas.
However, the Filipino-German workhorse reiterated that chemistry should not just be evident among his Beermen teammates but the whole Gilas squad.
“I think we have so much talent that it’s going to be hard to adjust. But I think this group of guys, we have no egos. That’s a great sign for success.”
The Filipinos and the Jordanians meet again on Wednesday, November 21, at the Meralco Gym in Pasig for a second tuneup game. – Rappler.com