MANILA, Philippines – There is no shortage of confidence in Yeng Guiao, giving Gilas Pilipinas a near-perfect grade ahead of the final window of the World Cup qualifiers.
“Siguro nasa 8 na kami. By the time we play, we should be around close to 9 [or] 9 something,” Guiao said after the Nationals thwarted PBA team Meralco, 100-82, in their only tuneup game on Wednesday, February 15.
(We’re probably 8 right now. By the time we play, we should be around close to 9 or 9 something.)
“I don’t think we can be really at a hundred percent dahil kulang naman talaga ‘yung preparation time. But if we make 90 percent, we’ll be okay. That’s good enough for us to win games.”
(I don’t think we can be really at a hundred percent because of the lack of preparation time. But if we make 90 percent, we’ll be okay. That’s good enough for us to win games.)
The lack of chemistry that was evident in the previous two windows that saw the Filipinos win only one of their 4 games was no longer a concern now, at least with what thay had shown against the Bolts.
Gilas led by only 2 points after the maiden period before slowly shredding Meralco to pieces and enjoying an advantage as large as 28 points behind a balanced attack.
For Guiao, the dominant win showed his wards mean business, especially with their backs pressed against the wall.
Slipping to 4th place in Group F with a 5-5 card, the Philippines seek back-to-back wins in away matches versus Qatar and Kazakhtan in an attempt for finish inside the top 3, which guarantees a World Cup berth.
“Everybody is serious about the preparation. Everybody’s trying to make a contribution and ang tingin ko lahat naman sila ready na at this point,” he said.
(Everybody is serious about the preparation. Everybody’s trying to make a contribution and I think all of them are ready at this point.)
The Filipinos will fly to Doha Saturday morning as they reunite with naturalized player Andray Blatche, who returned to China briefly to honor his commitments with Chinese Basketball Association team Tianjin Gold Lions.
There, they will have a few days to fully prepare against the Qataris, whom they will face on February 21, before they leave for Astana to tangle with the Kazakhs on February 24. – Rappler.com