Alapag confident of Gilas’ chances in another PH-Korea duel
With Gilas Pilipinas set to face Korea in the quarterfinals of the 2017 Fiba Asia Cup on Wednesday, Filipinos are immediately reminded of bitter memories against their fierce rival.
But after countless battles in the Asian stage, the Filipinos are already familiar with the Korea’s deadly style of play and it’s just a matter of sticking to the system if they want to advance further in the continental tilt.
“When you think of Korea, it’s their perimeter shooting. So it’s gonna be important for us to try to limit their perimeter game because all of them can shoot from outside,” he said. “At the same time, we have to be solid defensively and we’re gonna have to make our shots as well because in the past, Korea loves playing zone, and the only way to get them out of the zone is to make shots,” said former Gilas veteran Jimmy Alapag.
READ: Gilas five needs pluck
Alapag has had his fair share of wars with the Koreans as a former member of the national team since 2002, suffering a number of heartbreaks at the hands of the Philippines’ fierce rivals.
His dagger three from way downtown punctured the bottom of the net to lift Gilas past Korea in the semifinals of the 2013 Fiba Asia Championship here and, in the process, book a ticket to the 2014 Fiba World Cup.
Alapag had his last joust with Korea in the 2015 Jones Cup, where the Nationals bowed, 82-70.
The 2011 PBA Most Valuable Player expects a lot of emotion to come up in the game, saying the Philippines is going to be in an uphill battle in the quarterfinals.
“It’s gonna be a big game. If you look at the quarterfinals in Lebanon, each quarterfinal game is a tough game,” said the Gilas assistant coach.
But Alapag is confident that the Philippines can pull the win off against the Koreans, especially with the way the team has been playing in the group stages.
“I’m confident with the guys. We’ve all seen their performance so far. The guys have been playing great,” he said. “I think if they can continue with the way they’ve been playing, we’ll have a good chance to advance to the semifinals, but we all know Korea. The important thing is we come out and play well.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.