BATANG Gilas crushed the opposition in the Southeast Asia Basketball Association meet, but their head coach says changes need to be made with the lineup to be able to match the tougher and taller opponents FIBA Asia Under-16 Championship in July.
Coach Michael Oliver stressed the need to tap bigger players to be able to keep up with powerhouse China and Iran in the continental meet, the qualifying event for the world stage.
“Hindi tayo magre-relax. Magwo-work tayo as early as next week para mapaghandaan natin ng mabuti yung FIBA Asia para magkaroon tayo ng mas malaking chance para sa Fiba World,” Oliver said.
Batang Gilas has 6-foot-5 Will Gozum, a forward who can man the middle, but Oliver stresses they need a true center.
“We need legitimate centers so guys like Will Gozum and Jonas Tibayan can concentrate playing the forward spots,” said Oliver.
“At the same time, mas maganda kung may pang-tapat tayo sa malalaki ng China or Iran kasi last time, doon tayo nahirapan. Kapag napagod na yung malalaki natin. We don’t need a scoring big man. We need players who can get the rebounds.”
The coaching staff is also on the lookout for a dependable backup Samjosef Belangel, the talented point guard from Taytung High School, who was named MVP in the SEABA Under-16.