As Gilas enters crucial stretch, Yeng Guiao's system helps players get 'mentally locked in' | Inquirer Sports

As Gilas enters crucial stretch, Yeng Guiao’s system helps players get ‘mentally locked in’

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 07:20 PM February 15, 2019

Gilas head coach Yeng Guiao during the national team’s tune up before heading to Doha and Kazakhstan. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—Gilas Pilipinas is facing its biggest challenge yet in the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers as one slip could very well eliminate Filipinos from the competition.

The Philippine national basketball team needs all the positivity it can get and Gabe Norwood said he and the team’s continued familiarity with head coach Yeng Guiao’s system could prove vital in their quest for the World Cup.

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“Just doing his system and I think anybody who’s watched coach Yeng can see that everybody’s going to have an opportunity to play,” said Norwood after Gilas’ 100-82 win over Meralco in a tune-up game Friday.

Guiao’s system usually employs 12 players on a team and this assurance that everyone would get minutes is what motivates players to lock in the game, which is what Gilas badly needs.

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With only the better of two fourth seeds advancing, the best chance for the Philippines, which holds a 5-5 record in Group F,  is for Lebanon, the no.4 team in Group E,  to finish the second round with a worse card.

Only seven teams will qualify for the 2019 Fiba Basketball World Cup in China–the top three seeds for each group and the better of the two no.4s.

“It’s not like things in the past when sometimes guys already know they’re not going to play or they might not be able to mentally lock-in,” said Norwood, who has been part of the national team program since 2007 and was part of the team that went to the 2014 World Cup in Greece.

Norwood played for Guiao from 2011 to 2016 in Rain or Shine and this partnership produced two championships and numerous playoff appearances.

“You will have 12 guys who know they’re going to step out into the court and all are going to be mentally locked in,” said Norwood whose Gilas team will face Qatar and Kazakhstan in late February.

“Coach Yeng’s system will help us maximize everybody’s effort and if you know you’re going to go all out the next is going to the same thing and hopefully that translates to win.”

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TAGS: Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers, Gabe Norwood, Gilas Pilipinas, Sports, Yeng Guiao
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