Lack of prep time, Clarkson absence don’t concern Guiao ahead of Kazakhstan duel
Head coach Yeng Guiao likes the Philippine men’s basketball team’s chances on the eve of the squad’s opening game against Kazakhstan in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Guiao is confident ahead of the Filipinos’ all-important duel with the dangerous Kazakhs despite having limited preparation time and missing the services of Jordan Clarkson, who was a buzzer-beating inclusion to the team.
“We feel we have a pretty good game plan against Kazakhstan, we feel we are ready,” said Guiao after wrapping up practice at Gor Lokasari gym Wednesday.
“The coaching staff has done an excellent job scouting, doing the preparation and doing the mind-setting of the players, and every body is just making a contribution to the effort,” he added.
The Philippines plays Kazakhstan at 11 a.m. (Manila time). Clarkson is expected to arrive in Jakarta around the same time the game will be played.
Guiao also thinks it’s not going to be ideal for Clarkson to play right away after coming off a long flight from Los Angeles.
The Philippine team arrived in Indonesia early Monday morning after just holding several days of training in Manila which including one tuneup game against TNT.
But the PBA champion coach feels the team was able to make the most out of the short time.
“Although with the time that we spent together, we’ve made a lot of progress,” said Guiao.
“Our team is jelling, the camaraderie is really good and they’re absorbing the system really well. That’s the good news.”
Four years ago in the previous Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, the Philippines beat Kazakhstan by two, 67-65.
The Kazakhs, however, had the better overall stint as they managed to advance to the knockout stage while the Filipinos ended up in seventh place.
The Filipino-American Clarkson will make his PH debut against China on August 21.
Guards Stanley Pringle and Paul Lee and Fil-German big man Christian Standhardinger are expected to lead the team.
Half of the team are composed of players from Rain or Shine namely Gabe Norwood, Chris Tiu, James Yap, Beau Belga, Raymond Almazan and Maverick Ahanmisi.
Big men JP Erram and Asi Taulava complete the team. Clarkson was reinserted in the final 12-man lineup in lieu of TNT swingman Don Trollano.
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