NO less than Asia's best point guard believes Gilas Pilipinas has a chance to topple powehouse France in the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Manila which starts next week.
"Kami naman yung naglalaro. Alam namin sa sarili namin na may chance tayo," said Jayson Castro, the two-time Fiba-Asia best point guard who celebrated his 30th birthday on Thursday during the team's practice at the Mall of Asia Arena.
"Kung ano naman sinasabi ng mga tao, hindi naman natin pinakikiinggan yun. As long as sa practice yung mga game plans magagawa namin, malaki chance natin talaga."
A hopeful Marc Pingris couldn't agree more, but admitted it won't be a walk in the park for the Filipino cagers.
"Walang imposible, bilog ang bola. Pero imposible kapag hindi kami naglaro ng maayos," said Pingris, whose team is coming off an 18-day training camp in Europe.
"Kailangan talaga namin magtrabaho. Isipin nyo naman, pito or lima ang NBA players nila. Sobrang hirap."
A team of France's caliber is definitely hard to beat. The world No. 5 boasts of NBA stars like Tony Parker, Nicolas Batum, and Boris Diaw, among others.
Gilas will take on France in the opener on July 5 at 9 pm at the MOA Arena. And Castro is hoping Gilas’ sixth man will come and support the team.
"Sana suportahan uli tayo ng mga kababayan natin," he said.
"Hindi namin bibiguin ang mga kababayan natin. Basta ibibigay namin best namin, win or lose masaya kami," Pingris added.