YENG Guiao welcomed the availability of additional warm bodies to help Gilas Pilipinas prepare for the coming FIBA World Cup.
With the PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals set to kick off this weekend, the national coach knew focus of players in the national pool will now be on the playoffs. So players who volunteer to join the national team in practice will be more than appreciated.
According to Guiao, among those who already sent feelers about their willingness to help are San Miguel Beer guard Chris Ross and NLEX veteran Asi Taulava.
“A lot of other guys are volunteering. I heard Chris Ross is volunteering. I heard that Asi is also volunteering. Madali naman if we need warm bodies,” said the Gilas Pilipinas mentor.
The 6-foot-10 Taulava has been a regular fixture in the national team before, while this will be the first time Ross will be serving the national team even as a practice player only.
Beau Belga and Stanley Pringle had earlier volunteered to serve as practice players for Gilas, although the two were later listed by Guiao in 19-man pool the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) has submitted to Fiba.
“Kaya lang of course, as much as possible yung nasa pool na sana,” he said.
Guiao is grateful for the fact that Ross, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year awardee by the PBA Press Corps, is ready to lend a hand for national cause even though the two had figured in spats in the past.
“Sinabi ko lang na nagbo-volunteer siya,” he said with a smile. “And we appreciate that.”