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    Calm before the storm as Guiao conducts light Gilas practice before World Cup bid

    Aug 28, 2019
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño

    GILAS Pilipinas coach Yeng Guiao declared the team is almost ready for the 2019 Fiba Basketball World Cup following the final day of practice in Manila on Wednesday afternoon.

    The Nationals conducted its last practice at the Meralco Gym a day before the team flies to China where the Fiba Basketball World Cup is being held.

    The team conducted a light practice, but saw game films as they continue to scout the opposition. The players also received their gear ahead of their flight to China.

    “We were okay today. We wanted to be a little bit more relaxed, a little bit more fun. Once we get to China tomorrow, we still start really seriously working again,” Guiao told reporters on Thursday.

    Guiao said the only concern of the team currently is acclimatization to the conditions in China, which the national head coach believe will not take a lengthy period of time.

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    “I think we are ready, as ready as we can be. But of course, the problem here is acclimatization period namin is quite short. All the other teams have been in China for the last week or so. Kami, dalawang araw lang. I don’t think there’s any question with time zones or the weather so I don’t think matatagalan ‘yung acclimatization. That’s my only concern actually,” said Guiao.

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      Guiao said Gilas will take full advantage of the use of the Foshan International Sports and Cultural Center, a 15,000-seater arena that will host the Group D matches.

      “We also want to play and experience the game venue itself. Tomorrow (Thursday), we will conduct our practice in the game venue. Dalawang practice namin on Friday, one in the morning and one in the afternoon,” said Guiao.

      Even with only a few days left before Saturday’s opener against Italy, Guiao said there is still work to do in preparation for the game the coaching staff considers as the most crucial one.

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      “Tinanong sa akin ‘yan kahapon,” Guiao said when asked how ready the team is, “90 percent kahapon. Siguro ngayon 91 percent na. Nandoon pa rin.”

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño
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