NATIONAL coach Yeng Guiao insisted Team Pilipinas’ three losses in tune-up matches is not a cause for concern ahead of its campaign in the fifth window of the Fiba Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers.
The Philippine national squad came up with only a win over Jordan in the four tune-up matches in preparation for the November 30 match against Kazakhstan and the December 3 game against Iran, both at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Team Pilipinas was also swept by Lebanon in the tune-up series, losing to the visitors, 71-60, on Sunday night.
Though he would have wanted to win more games, Guiao said he was satisfied with what he saw from the players during the tuneup games, confident that the team is on the right track.
“Okay na ‘yun. Of course, we wanted to win. Gustong-gusto naming manalo. Kaya lang, it’s difficult also for me to rotate 14 people. Na-cut ko na nga ‘yan to 19. Ginagawa ko na alternate ‘yung iba. When we are a solid 12, it’s easy for me to prepare them,” said Guiao.
Guiao admitted he was also disappointed with the effort of the players, but is sticking to the positives.
“Sabi ko, sapat na ‘yung four games. ‘Yung competitive nature nila, ‘yun medyo disappointed ako na I felt na they could have exerted more effort. Ang iniisip ko naman, baka nagpe-preserve din sila ng sarili nila dahil sa ganung klase ng bugbugan, ang hirap naman kumbaga masunog mo ‘yung sarili mo,” said Guiao.
“We are positive naman na we can play a good game against Kazakhstan and Iran,” Guiao added.
The concurrent NLEX coach said the four tuneup games also enabled his staff to experiment, both on strategy and personnel.
“Unti-unti na nabubuo at nakikita na rin namin sa scrimmages were also a big factor in choosing the players. We’ve experimented a few times but we are still trying to get the win of course. I guess that’s the luxury of having tune-up games to be able to take some risks with some strategies and decisions,” Guiao said.
With the four tuneup games over and done with, Guiao and his staff are now getting into specifics as they scout Kazakhstan and Iran in the following days.
“It’s better to preserve them at this point and just do the scouting. Mag-uumpisa na kami ng scouting namin all the way to Thursday. We will be practicing the specifics,” Guiao said.