Guiao: Nationals ready for everything
The Philippine National Basketball Team, despite a sparkling first-day victory over Kazakhstan, remains the underdog in its mammoth clash today against powerhouse China in the Asian Games.
It can’t be said China is a double-your-money favorite. But, if in boxing, China, with its all-around might, threatens to finish pulling away.
National coach Yeng Guiao has refused to be awed.
“If our boys continue to play the way they did against Kazakhstan, winning, slim as it seems, is not that remote,” Guiao told veteran scribe Eddie Alinea on Monday.
“The Chinese are taller, bigger, but they’re definitely slower,” Guiao continued.
A great outside game will be the key to another great Philippine national team stand.
Guiao added: “Our outside gunners must click. We are quicker and, with the help of Jordan Clarkson, our small boys, like Stanley Pringle and Paul Lee, can create situations favorable to us. We’ve plenty of that, with James Yap, Chris Tiu, Gabe Norwood.”
There’s the chance of the Nationals outgunning the Chinese from the perimeter. But there’s the more daunting task of containing tall China’s awesome interior game. It can’t be expected to be loose and predictable like Kazakhstan.
The Chinese can only be expected to emphasize on their solid physical edge and pounce on shorter opposing barriers.
Whether or not Guiao has devised a secret defensive plot would be known in today’s all-revealing match.
At least, the win over Kazakhstan has assured the Philippines of a slot in the next round.
The Nationals will definitely put up a stubborn, unyielding stand. Guiao said they will proudly and gallantly fight for flag and country.
“Call us whatever name, basta kami dala ang Pilipinas, dangal ng bayan at ng Lahing Pilipino ang ipaglalaban namin (we represent the Philippines, its honor and we will defend it.)”
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