Smart Gilas guns for 3rd win vs KoreaBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
TAIPEI—Smart Gilas-Pilipinas did everything but relax in its only rest day here Monday, preparing hard for its clash against a formidable club team from Korea in a bid to stay on top of the standings of the 34th William Jones Cup.
The Filipinos, after two impressive victories, still got down to a hard, one-hour practice as they looked forward to a tough game against the similarly undefeated Anyung KGC side at 3 p.m. Tuesday at Taipei Physical Education College gym.
They then spent the rest of the day visiting the towering Taipei 101 and having dinner outside of the Palais de Chine hotel, where all teams are billeted, for the first time in four days.
Team Philippines needs all the time it can put in, having been together just over two weeks with coach Chot Reyes giving each player the chance to perfect the squad’s ‘dribble-drive’ offensive philosophy—aside from getting to know each other better.
Reyes got his offensive philosophy from an obscure high school coach in the United States, Vans Wahlberg, which he used in winning titles for Talk ‘N Text in the PBA.
After dinner Sunday, the coaching staff spent two hours having the players talk to each other one-on-one in a bull session, with at least one mainstay going emotional during the proceedings.
Korea, represented by the reigning champion of its pro league back home, will be led by Americans Juan Pattillo and 7-foot Garrett Stutz, who haven’t played together in a game here yet.
Reyes expects a tough match against the Koreans, whom he hopes would field both Americans at the same time and enable the Philippines to gauge itself against such a big team.
“They haven’t played together because that’s the rule in their league, one at a time,” Reyes said over breakfast. “But against us, I think they’ll both play (at the same time) because Jones Cup rules have no such restrictions.”
Korea is also backstopped by three national team members, and one of them, Oh Se-keun, is still being kept in the freezer.
The Filipinos will play five straight games after the match with the Koreans, closing against the US on Sunday.
Iran is also at 2-0 and will take a bye Tuesday. The Americans debuted with a 100-77 rout of Taipei-A Sunday night.