Tune-up, buildup, etc. Gilas can’t falter
Unlike the overconfident Hall-of-Fame boxing trainer Freddie Roach, Philippine national basketball coach Chot Reyes cannot be expected to consider the current Seaba Championship one legitimate tune-up series.
Roach has stated that Horn, whom Manny Pacquiao fights in Brisbane on July 2, is a kind of tune-up fight “to see where he’s at and who’s going to be next.”
Coach Reyes could not, for his part, find an appropriate label for the Seaba tournament which the Philippines is expected to sweep and dominate.
A tune-up, a buildup, testing the water with a sweet dip?
The PBA Media bureau has said on the eve of the tournament opening that Filipino basketball analysts are one in saying that the Gilas Pilipinas national squad, with its talent-laden roster, can beat the opposition with its eyes closed.
Whether that’s apt or a little exaggerated, coach Reyes would not comment.
The strongest he has said was that it’s of utmost importance to set the tone with a big win.
Reyes said the importance of winning the Seaba Championship had prompted them to do advance scouting and form the strongest national team possible.
It’s of course doubtful if Gilas scouts had sensed any serious threat to Gilas Pilipinas in their sniping through the Asean basketball region. The Philippines was to play lowly Burma yesterday, but the most interesting match in the opening program was Thailand-Malaysia at 5 p.m.
There’s no danger lurking whatsoever. But maybe coach Reyes could start re-testing the outside firepower of the young national squad this early.
They can’t afford to sail on to the Fiba Asia Championship, and hopefully to the Tokyo Olympics, with the same shallow, sputtering outside artillery mounted in the last Olympic qualifying showdown against China.
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