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Yeng Guiao faced with ‘good problem’ after Gilas trips Aussie club

/ 09:43 PM August 23, 2019

Gilas head coach Yeng Guiao during the Nationals’ tune-up game against Adelaide 36ers. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

Gilas Pilipinas escaped hard-fighting Adelaide 36ers in the first of their two tune-up games at Meralco Gym in Ortigas Friday night and coach Yeng Guiao felt that his charges are still far from their optimal form.

“Our big men weren’t that quick, so we should find a way to keep up,” Guiao told reporters shortly after the Filipinos’ 92-83 decision over the Aussies that showcased Gilas’ potential on both ends of the court.

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“This game gave us a glimpse of what we will face (in the future).”

But Guiao also said that he had a good problem on his plate, considering the way his wards performed individually.

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“It’s difficult [to choose] the final 12 given the way they played,” he said as the team’s preparations for the Fiba World Cup in China enters its final week.

Five Gilas players scored in twin digits, while only two were scoreless as the Filipinos set the tone pretty much for the whole duration of the contest.

But Guiao stressed that improvements are still welcome, especially during a time when the team is plagued with minor injuries.

“We can still get a bit smoother, a bit more fluid,” he said. “When we were playing in Spain, after being together for a while, I saw that we were playing well as a team.”

Poy Erram and Matthew Wright both sat out the game after getting hurt in a scrimmage last Monday. They will continue to miss the remainder of the friendlies, while Marcio Lassiter is ruled out of the World Cup, according to Guiao himself.

For now, what Gilas needs is for the June Mar Fajardo, Troy Rosario, and Roger Pogoy to adapt⁠, and quickly.

“We need those three guys to catch up,” Guiao said. “We’re hoping to make the adjustments on Sunday, and after that, it’s really just practices and putting together a game plan.”

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Gilas will try to repeat over the 36ers on Sunday before revealing its final roster for the global meet slated to begin on Aug. 31 at the Chinese city of Foshan.

The scores:

GILAS PILIPINAS 92 – Blatche 19, Aguilar 17, Perez 12, Pogoy 10, Lee 10, Bolick 8, Almazan 7, Barroca 5, Fajardo 4, Norwood 0, Rosario 0.

ADELAIDE 83 – Moore 16, Froling 11, Teys 10, Dillon 10, Taylor 9, Griffin 9, Kyei 8, Johnson 6, McVeigh 4, White 0.

Quarterscores: 25-16, 50-49,73-68, 92-83.

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TAGS: Adelaide 36ers, Gilas Pilipinas, Sports, Yeng Guiao
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