JAKARTA, Indonesia – All that national basketball coach Yeng Guiao wanted was a chance against mighty China, however slim. Then, he could take it from there.
"Kung dati, we are a 100 to 1 underdog against China, ngayon we are just 100 to 20, nadagdagan na ang odds natin," said Guiao, whose wards battle the 2018 Asian Games favorites on Tuesday, August 20 at 4 pm (5 pm Manila time)
"We admit talaga naman favorite sila, but I feel the more important thing is now, we feel that we have more of a chance to win. Dati para talagang wala kang chance na manalo sa kanila," Guiao added.
(Our odds before against China were 100 to 1, but now it's better at 100 to 20. We admit that they're the favorites, but I feel the more important thing is now, we feel that we have more of a chance to win. Before, it was like we had no chance of winning at all.)
Credit NBA star Jordan Clarkson for the "slight' boost in odds. (READ: Guiao on Jordan Clarkson: 'We don't need him to score 50')
"What's good for us is he can draw the defense and free up our shooters. His skills are very good, all of these combined translates to a quicker transition for him to make adjustments. So it's going to be two against one, Clarkson versus the two NBA Chinese players, "added Guiao, referring to players Zhou Qi and Ding Yanyuang.
Qi is a 7-foot-1 backup slotman of the Houston Rockets, while Ding is a 6-foot-7 forward of the Dallas Mavericks.
“China is bringing their best team in the Asian Games. They are solid on all fronts specially their frontline,” said Ryan Gregorio, the Philippine team chief scout who's also a three-time PBA champion coach.
“Zhou Qi is tall and quick. He has a range that can extend to the three-point range. He has great anticipation skills on defense. Ding is quick and strong, and has long range,” added Gregorio.
One of the plans, according to Guiao, is try to keep the game close, be aggressive the entire 40 minutes and out-run their rivals.
"We will try to duplicate the defense that we did against Kazakhstan," said Guiao, referring to his squad's 96-59 blasting of the Kazakhs last Wednesday. (READ: Clarkson-less Gilas crushes Kazakhstan in Asian Games)
“We will be banking on our quickness. We lack the height and length, but we can compensate with our quickness and intelligence,” seconded Gregorio. – Rappler.com