GILAS Pilipinas coach Yeng Guiao said the coaching staff is putting most of its energy on mapping out a game plan against Italy, its first match in the Fiba Basketball World Cup.
Guiao said most of the focus of the team is on Italy, where Gilas Pilipinas will play its first game in the World Cup on August 31 in Foshan, China.
Guiao said Gilas is not looking too far ahead with the national team also facing one of the medal contenders in the competition in Serbia and Africa powerhouse Angola.
“Ang plano kasi natin, ‘yung chance natin sa Serbia, medyo mas maliit kesa sa chances natin sa Italy. So our focus, resources, time, scouting, we focus it on the team where we have a greater percentage of winning,” Guiao said during Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Amelie Hotel Manila.
“Kasi kahit matalo tayo sa Serbia, kung manalo tayo Italy at tinalo natin Angola, okay tayo,” Guiao added.
Guiao admitted the chances of winning against Serbia is very slim. The Serbians won the silver medal in the Fiba World Cup five years ago when they lost to the United States.
Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets will lead the Serbian team for this year’s World Cup.
Italy will also have a formidable line-up that includes NBA players Marco Bellineli, Danilo Galinari, and Euroleague cager Luigo Datome.
Guiao made it clear they have already studied Serbia and Angola as part of their build-up for the World Cup especially with the short preparation time the team will have during the tournament proper.
“We’ve talked about Serbia already but we haven’t put in a scheme. Kasi if we are going to talk about Serbia and Jokic and we haven’t played Italy yet, we haven’t done our focusing on Italy yet. It might be better use of our energy and time to first focus on Italy,” said Guiao.
“The time we have to focus there is very short. In between the games is one day so that’s the time to get prepared for the next game. We have scouted them, we have broken down their videos, so the players can adjust,” said Guiao.