AFTER getting tested by UAAP college teams, Gilas 5.0 is looking to play a tuneup match against much taller teams, preferably an import-loaded squad, as it prepares for the Fiba Asia Challenge Cup.
Although individual Gilas players have the skills to outplay bigger opponents, Reyes wants the whole team to get the feel of working around tall squads now before they go to battle in Iran from September 9 to 18.
"It’s going to be the first time for them to see men that size in the basketball court trying to defend them and block their shots," said Reyes.
The Philippines plays India and Chinese-Taipei in the group stage.
"Hopefully we’ll get another tune-up with a really tall team. Ateneo and FEU gave us really good games. They are both strong teams who are really peaking because the UAAP season is about to start."
Among the teams mentioned as an ideal opponent for a tuneup is Mighty Sports, the champion in the last Jones Cup in Taiwan which is putting together an import-laden team for the Merlion Cup in Singapore next month.
The Gilas cadets led by Mac Belo struggled against UAAP teams Far Eastern University and Ateneo in tuneup matches, but Reyes insists they are ready for the Challenge Cup.
"I’m proud of each and every one of these guys, everybody on the pool. Even though they know this current pool is only up to the Challenge Cup pa lang and all of them are still vying for slots in the real Gilas cadets pool, they’re all here and are brave young men willing to go there," he said.
"Come what may, kung sino makakatapat nila, they’re just ready to go to battle. All of us are not making any excuses but we just want to perform the best we can."