No time left: Guiao banks on old reliables in Asian Games
MANILA, Philippines – Yeng Guiao has less than two weeks to form a cohesive men's basketball team for the Asian Games, but he has the luxury of mentoring his old reliables.
Guiao, forced to quickly prepare the squad before its first Asiad game on August 16, gets to reunite with some of his former players in the the 14-man Philippine team.
Nine players from the national pool have played under the firebrand coach, who returns to national team duties for the first time since 2009. (LOOK: Gilas Pilipinas lineup for 2018 Asian Games)
Guiao will bank on his familiarity with former Rain or Shine players Maverick Ahanmisi, Gabe Norwood, Chris Tiu, Beau Belga, Raymond Almazan, Don Trollano and Paul Lee.
"Time is really short. Even before when we first planned this, maikli na ang oras. And with what happened the last two weeks lalo pang umikli ang oras natin," Guiao told reporters after the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) reversed its decision to withdraw from the Asian Games on Sunday, August 5. (READ: SBP backtracks: PH sending team to 2018 Asian Games)
(Time is really short. Even before when we first planned this, we were already short of time. And with what happened the last two weeks, our time to prepare just got shorter.)
"But that is also one reason why siguro po core na ng RoS dahil these guys are familiar with me and I'm familiar with them."
(But that is also one reason why the team will be composed by the RoS core because these guys are familiar with me and I'm familiar with them.)
Guiao will also have former national team standouts James Yap and Asi Taulava at his disposal.
Although some may argue that Father Time has been creeping up the two PBA veterans, they have proven to still be decent contributors for their respective teams in the PBA.
"James Yap and Asi Taulava were with me in the 2009 national team so I don't see any problem with that. Knowing there is a time constraint involved was also factored in the determination of the lineup," Guiao said.
Basically having 8 days to incorporate San Miguel's Christian Standhardinger, GlobalPort's Stanley Pringle, Blackwater's Poy Erram and Gilas cadets Ricci Rivero and Kobe Paras to his system, Guiao is taking the challenge.
"There are 5 to 6 other guys coming from other teams but we feel na kaya naming i-jell with this week or so – 'yung ibang players na manggagaling sa labas."
(There are 5 to 6 other guys coming from other teams but we feel that we can jell this week or so.)
The national squad will buckle down to work immediately startingMonday, August 6, as Guiao and his staff try to determine the final 12 before they head to Indonesia on August 14. – Rappler.com
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