FINALLY getting the chance to see his team play the cream of the crop of Philippine basketball, Malaysia head coach Cheng Huat Goh was left in awe seeing Gilas Pilipinas at full strength.
Though the game didn't go well for the Malaysians after suffering a 106-51 beat down in the Seaba Championship on Sunday, Goh said his team mostly made up of youth players will be taking a wealth of experience from the Gilas game.
"I just explained to my players that it's an honor to play against the dream team of the Philippines. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for them to come out and play with these PBA players," said the veteran coach.
Goh is not new to Philippine basketball, having mentored the Blustar Malaysia squad for two conferences in the PBA D-League.
But playing the best this country has to offer is a whole new experience for them, Goh said.
"I'm quite happy with how they performed. It really helped all my players. Just very happy to be able to come here with a young team and compete against world-class players," he added.
From this Malaysia lineup, 11 of the 12 players have experienced playing in the D-League and it definitely showed given the high level of physicality that these Malaysians displayed against the hosts.
That's why Goh is just thankful to the Philippines for playing a role in the actual development of Malaysian basketball, to the point that he wishes to emulate the system of Philippine basketball.
"I would just like to thank the PBA for letting us play in the D-League for last year and this year. Hopefully we are looking forward to continuing to play in the PBA (D-League)," he said.
"We're learning from them. Hopefully one day, we will catch up... We should follow the steps of the Philippines having a college league, the PBA D-League and the PBA."