Guiao looking at Cabagnot, Slaughter, Lassiter for Fiba qualifiers
JAKARTA—Fiery coach Yeng Guiao admitted that he is torn between Stanley Pringle and Christian Standhardinger as Gilas Pilipinas’ naturalized player for the two coming Fiba World Cup Qualifying matches in the middle of next month.
And because of the June Mar Fajardo injury that will keep the dominant big man out of action, the choice seems obvious. That’s why Guiao is looking at Alex Cabagnot to take Pringle’s spot in the team.
“There will be, I think nine players from this (Asian Games) team that will play, at least in the Iran game (in Teheran),” Guiao told the Inquirer, which pressed him for an idea of the team he will be building for the next window of the World Qualifiers, despite coming off a loss to South Korea on Monday afternoon.
“It really depends on who the eligible players are,” Guiao went on. “If Greg (Slaughter) and Marcio (Lassiter) are eligible, then definitely they will be in the team.”
Cabagnot comes into the picture because Pringle, who didn’t get his Philippine passport before he turned 16, could be ineligible because of this rule. Lassiter had played for Gilas before, forming the lethal wing combination with Chris Lutz when the program started under Rajko Toroman.
“We need to work on this as soon as we can, because when we come home, we will have just a week to prepare,” Guiao said. Gilas planes back home on Sept. 2 at the earliest, needing to play classification games despite bowing out of the medal race with a 91-82 loss to the Koreans.
“The game against Iran being on the 13th, it would mean leaving the country again on Sept. 9, or the 10th at the latest,” he said. “So there’s really little time to prepare and given that, we need to take most of the team members here to Iran.”
The Philippine Basketball Association had said even before Gilas lost its first game here that it would provide a smorgasbord of players for the National team that will play in the next two games.
In fact, the current Governors’ Cup will suspend its elimination round from Sept. 7-17 to accommodate Guiao and his requests for players.
Losing Fajardo to injury is a big hit for the Nationals, who will be battling the 7-foot-2 Hamed Haddadi in Teheran and then the big Qataris behind closed doors at home.