Yeng Guiao: Gilas Pilipinas' best shot is against Angola | Inquirer Sports

Yeng Guiao: Gilas Pilipinas’ best shot is against Angola

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 10:40 PM July 26, 2019

MANILA, Philippines—Fiery may be an understatement when describing Yeng Guiao.

Gilas Pilipinas’ head coach has been called with numerous technical fouls in the PBA that no one was probably surprised when he was ejected seconds before the end of the Philippines’ 84-46 win over Qatar in the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

Guiao, however, knows when to pick his battles.

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The Philippines is grouped with Angola, Italy, and Serbia in Group D of the 2019 Fiba Basketball World Cup, and Guiao said that for the country to get to the Round of 16 it would need hard work and a bit of luck.

“We should be at our best and Italy should be playing a bad game, Angola is really tough…but we have our best chance against them,” said Guiao in Filipino during the press conference for the Fiba Basketball World Cup Naismith Trophy Tour at Meralco Compound Friday.

“If we win two games, Italy and Angola, then that’s the opportunity for us to get to the top 16.”

The Philippines is ranked no. 31 in the world and the only country that it has a better ranking in the group is no. 39 Angola.

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Italy is world no. 13 while Serbia is Group D’s best game with the distinction of being no. 4 in the Fiba rankings.

“Serbia is a contender for the crown itself, for the trophy,” said Guiao. “Together with USA, Spain, and probably France, there are the ones that I see as the strongest. Just looking at their lineups, although there are no final rosters yet, their pools are deep in terms of talent.”

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NBA All-Stars Kemba Walker and Khris Middleton will lead the Americans in the tournament while Spain has brothers Pau and Marc Gasol in the lineup and the two siblings own three NBA titles between them.

France, meanwhile, has two-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert anchoring its paint.

As for Serbia, the European nation also holds an abundance of NBA talent in centers Nikola Jokic and Boban Marjanovic.

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Nemanja Bjelica, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and Milos Teodosic are also set to suit up for the Eagles in the World Cup.

“The most we can probably do is to keep our games close and see what happens but our best chances would be against Angola, and probably catch Italy on a bad night, that would be really the ideal situation for us,” said Guiao.

TAGS: 2019 fiba basketball world cup, Gilas Pilipinas, Sports, Yeng Guiao

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