Gilas can’t carry baggage from Kazakhstan loss into crucial Iran clash, says Guiao
There’s not a moment to lose for the Philippines in the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers after it suffered a gut-wrenching 92-88 loss to Kazakhstan in the second round.
Gilas Pilipinas dropped to a 5-4 record and tied Japan at the third spot of Group F and is now in a virtual must-win situation in order for them to secure a slot in the 2019 Fiba Basketball World Cup in China.
Its next hurdle is to stop Iran on Monday.
The only thing Gilas can do right now, though, is to learn how not to repeat its crucial mistakes from its loss to Kazakhstan.
“You have to play under pressure, the only thing you can do now is to focus on the next game,” said Guiao Friday at Mall of Asia Arena. “I don’t think you can think about anything else than that.”
The top three teams and the better of the fourth placers in Groups E and F will advance to the World Cup and the Philippines is technically within that region.
Gilas Pilipinas, however, has to secure at least the third spot in Group F in order for them to avoid any complications moving forward.
“We talked about the lessons we learned today but we cannot carry that baggage until Monday because it’ll just make life harder for us,” said Guiao. “My advice to the team was just to talk about the things that we need to make adjustments on, the lessons that we learned, and absorb it.”
A change in Guiao’s lineup for the game against Iran is the switch of naturalized players from point guard Stanley Pringle to versatile center Christian Standhardinger.
Guiao said he’ll miss Pringle’s mastery of the point guard position but he will have the athleticism and energy of Standhardinger in both the center and power forward positions.
Jayson Castro, who was once dubbed as the best point guard in Asia, will make his return after serving his suspension for getting involved in the melee between the Philippines and Australia in the previous window.
“Even though we’ll lose Stanley’s aggressiveness, we will gain Christian’s quickness and active play which we lacked with our bigs today,” said Guiao. “We’re hoping Christian can remedy the defensive lapses that occurred.”
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