Jordan’s Daghles says Gilas can beat China
CHANGSHA CITY, China – There are two legitimate powerhouses in the Fiba Asia Championship that could cross paths with Gilas Pilipinas in its quest for the gold medal and the lone continental berth staked for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics: Iran and China.
While the Filipinos get the first of possibly two cracks they have on the Iranians on Monday morning, a confrontation with the mighty Chinese is forecast in the Final Four.
And someone very familiar with the Filipino brand of play, Jordan’s Sam Daghles, who played for Talk ‘N Text in the PBA last year, has some unsolicited advise to Gilas coaching staff on how the Philippines can beat China.
“They can be beaten,” Daghles told a couple of Filipino scribes who he is familiar with because of his recent PBA stint. “Your guards can outplay theirs, your only worry would be Yi.”
Though Daghles and the Jordanians came up way short in their preliminary round matchup with the Chinese, they now have a first hand account on the team that avoided scouts for months leading up to this tournament.
“Del (Ranidel de Ocampo) should draw Yi out with his three-pointers and Dray (Andray Blatche) can have his way inside on Zhuo (Qi),” Daghles said. “The Philippines can beat them that way, because like I said, your guards are good.”
South Korea, a relatively small team like the Philippines, took the Chinese to the limit in a 73-76 loss last week. But the key for the Koreans in that game was that they made their outside shots.
“You just have to play Zhuo physical, hard,” Daghles went on. “He’s weak. He’s not strong, your guys can move him around.”
Told of Daghles remarks, Gilas assistant coach Norman Black said that playing physical has never been a problem for the Philippines. But like on Daghles, the Inquirer posed this question on Black: “Can you play physical against the Chinese in China and get away with it?”
Daghles just made face while Black gave a curt reply: “No.”