HONG KONG can also give Gilas Pilipinas some problems and should not be taken lightly, says Derrick Pumaren, who served as consultant to the HK national basketball team.
“Kaya natin ang Hong Kong kaya lang, huwag natin i-underestimate,” said Pumaren.
Hong Kong is oozing confidence after starting the Fiba Asia Championship with an 87-50 rout of Kuwait and will look to make it two in a row when it takes on Gilas Pilipinas on Thursday in Changsa, China.
Pumaren spent about three years as a consultant for a club team in Hong Kong and was tapped as consultant for its national squad during the Asian championship two years ago in Manila.
Pumaren’s knowledge of the Philippine style of play proved to be beneficial for the Hong Kong team when they played the hosts two years ago at the Mall of Asia Arena.
In that second round match, Hong Kong was in contention for the whole game but lost steam as Gilas Pilipinas was just too deep, taking a 67-55 victory.
Pumaren said Hong Kong could also play the same game two years ago of slowing things down and try to keep the game close.
“Baka gawin nila ’yung ginawa nila dito na they slowed down the game kaya nakadikit. You have to keep it close, try to win it in the end. Dahan dahan kasi kapag tatakbo ka, wala na,” Pumaren said.
Pumaren said Gilas Pilipinas should watch out for Duncan Reid, the Hong Kong big man and one of the holdovers from the squad two years ago. Against Kuwait, Reid had a double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds along with two blocks.
“Duncan, he has improved a lot I must say. I’ve seen him this year and he has improved a lot. You can’t underestimate him. He will score on you. He will beat you up the floor and try to outwork you. We have to be ready for him,” Pumaren said.
“I saw the line-up. I think three or four players na lang (from two years ago). They will run, they will shoot. They have better shooters this time. The four-spot nila, they can shoot from the outside,” he added.
Pumaren said he was also shocked when Gilas bowed to Palestine, a team that he initially thought wouldn’t be a big concern for the Hong Kong side.
“Binibilang ko na nga ‘yung Palestine. Sabi ko pa naman sa Hong Kong, Kuwait at Palestine kaya nila. Tapos tinalo nila Philippines,” said Pumaren.