After hot game, Pessumal guarantees SEAG gold for Gilas in KL
TAIPEI – Von Pessumal got his chance to play a lot in the Jones Cup on Saturday and delivered.
After finishing with 14 points built around four triples, Pessumal said he got the confidence boost he needs as he suits up for Gilas Pilipinas for a second stint in the Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia late next month.
Not that he got carried away, but Pessumal knows that a lot has changed since he first played in the SEAG in Singapore two years ago when Gilas had a couple of close shaves against foes Filipinos are used to dominating.
“Of course, of course,” Pessumal said when asked if he could guarantee the Philippines’ 18th gold medal in the biennial meet.
He will be one of coach Jong Uichico’s best shooters in a squad that is practically half of a 24-man pool Chot Reyes submitted to the Fiba for the Asian Championship that will run in conflict with the SEAG.
And this being Pessumal’s second straight time to play in the regional conclave, his guarantee isn’t without basis as he goes to Malaysia together with a lot of players who also saw action in Singapore.
“The experience we have gotten is a big thing. You can’t teach experience,” he explained. “We’ll be better now that we’re coming back.”
Christian Standhardinger will be the main man in the middle for Gilas in Malaysia, with Kiefer Ravena, Bobby Ray Parks, Raymar Jose and Kobe Paras the amateurs in the roster.
“The Philippines has a history of not losing (in the SEAG),” Pessumal said.
And after the Filipinos waylaid tall India on Saturday afternoon with players that will see action in the SEAG, it could be safe to say that Pessumal’s prediction will happen and the Filipinos will keep that winning tradition intact.
News and features about 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from August 19-30. Visit http://inq.news/seagames.
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