Time to gel for Fiba Asia as important as getting best players, says Chot ReyesBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines—While half of the national team’s priority is getting the best players for Fiba Asia—the other half hinges on the time those players spend together preparing.
That was Smart Gilas Pilipinas’ head coach Chot Reyes’ concern as he met with PBA commissioner Chito Salud to iron out the finer details for the Fiba Asia build-up.
“Having the best players is only 50 percent, the other is having the time to prepare them and gel them into a great team,” said Reyes.
Reyes, who is fresh off a successful conquest of the Super Kung Sheung Cup Invitationals with the cadets-backed roster, even pointed out the other teams are starting their preparation as soon as possible.
“Yung Lebanon, (they) went to Dubai and then pagbalik they’re going the second round of competition. From March 1, concentrate na sila sa national team,” said Reyes.
Smart Gilas’ practice schedule—and even the roster—though, largely depends on the shortened third conference, which the PBA has yet to finalize.
“The naming of the line-up is going to be dependent on the final schedule,” said Reyes.
“Lahat ng naglaro sa Jones Cup, sa Dubai at sa Hong Kong, they’ll be under consideration, and they’ll be a part of the pool na pagpipilian natin,” Reyes added.
But one thing is for sure, though—the players are going to have to block off their Mondays for the national team.
“For now, my working orders are once a week practice until the players become available from now to August 1,” said Reyes. “That’s what we’re going to work on.”
Fiba Asia, one of the biggest basketball events hosted by the country in the last 40 years, dangles three spots to the Fiba Worlds in Spain next year.