Yeng Guiao, Gilas still awaiting full roster for homestretch of World Cup preps | Inquirer Sports

Yeng Guiao, Gilas still awaiting full roster for homestretch of World Cup preps

/ 02:27 AM August 16, 2019

MANILA, Philippines–As Gilas Pilipinas patiently awaits three of its players who are still tied up in the PBA finals, head coach Yeng Guiao is tempering his expectations when it comes to their shape once they rejoin the national team practices.

“At least we have 11 or 12 guys coming in. We’re still waiting for the three guys playing in the Finals,” Guiao told reporters after their light training session–their second since returning from a camp in Spain–at Meralco Gym in Ortigas Thursday.

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“We’ll add more hours next week and we’re hoping by that time, the three are ready,” he said, referring to San Miguel Beer’s June Mar Fajardo, TNT’s Roger Pogoy and Troy Rosario who are neck-deep in the titular duel of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

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The three players are already shoo-ins for the 12-man lineup, but Guiao, who has been battling manpower woes throughout the team’s preparations for the FIBA World Cup in China later this month, is more concerned with how the trio blends with the team.

“My problem is not making the decision on whether they’re in or not. My problem is trying to jell them with only a week to go after that,” he said.

“The mere fact that they’re focused on the Finals, that means that they will take some adjusting. They have to refocus their minds and their attention to what we do in Gilas (once they get back),” Guiao added.

The race-to-four finals duel has turned emotional as it dragged into six games and that has taken a toll on the players.

“Whether you emerge a champion or not, there’s going to be an emotional on you,” he said. “One needs some physical and mental break. And I totally understand. They’re humans, too.”

Guiao now clings to hope that adjustment won’t take long for the three as Gilas is still due for a pair of friendlies with Australian side Adelaide 36ers, both slated at the Meralco Gym and closed to public.

“It has been an emotional series, so once they come back in, they would want one or two days off. That’s to help them. But at the same time, they’ll also lose practice days.”

“But we’ll survive,” he closed.

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TAGS: Basketball, Fiba World Cup, Gilas Pilipinas, Sports, Yeng Guiao

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