GILAS Pilipinas has been using its tune-up games against college teams to somehow simulate the style of play that its opponents in the Southeast Asian Games are playing.
After holding off Ateneo and blowing out Far Eastern University last week, the Gilas cadets took on Adamson and had to sweat it out before hacking out an 82-77 victory on Tuesday morning at Meralco gym.
Then Gilas wraps up it exhibition schedule against National University on Wednesday morning before their flight to Kuala Lumpur.
“I want to scrimmage really a lot so we can correct right away, 'cause you can't see it in practice, but you'll see it in the game,” Gilas cadets coach Jong Uichico said after the tune-up game. “So we want to play as many scrimmages as we can.”
Baser Amer, one of the playmakers tasked to run the offense and find holes in their SEA Games foes’ suffocating defense, has been welcoming the challenge of their recent opponents.
“Yung target namin yung mga college teams na magagaling mag-press para masanay kami,” Amer said after he and the rest of the team dug in a boodle fight following the win. Kasi yung SEA Games, mabilis yung pace ng laro, so para masanay kami sa mabilis na pace.”
“Bukas, mas lalo yun (mas magaling mag-press), NU, si coach Jamike,” he added of the Bulldogs under new head coach and former San Beda mentor Jamike Jarin.
Uichico implied that playing against UAAP teams that are preparing for their mother league also gives Gilas different looks and challenges.
“Sila rin they're trying to experiment also on their stuff. They'll try everything to win. Kami rin, ganoon din,” Uichico said. “You don't want the goal to win because you can do so many things to try to win the scrimmage, but you won't use it in the SEA Games, so there has to be some type of balance.”