NATIONAL coach Yeng Guiao hopes Team Pilipinas will be able to deal with not just Kazakhstan’s strength but also the cold weather and the long flight for their away game in the sixth and final Fiba Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers window.
With the team set to leave on Saturday for Doha, Guiao reiterated the need to be ready for cold weather that can go as low as minus 20 degrees Celsius when the Filipinos play against Kazakhstan on February 24.
“Mahirap sabihin how big a factor it is because this is the first time that we will be in such situation as a team,” Guiao said. “Pinaghanda lang namin sila especially with the cold weather, gear or equipment – the heavy shoes, the jackets, the gloves.”
The flight from Doha where the Philippines will play against Qatar on February 21 to Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan, will also be a difficult one for the team as there is no direct flight to the former Russian republic.
“Mabigat kasi walang direct flight,” Guiao said. “Kailangan pa naming magpunta ng Turkey. I think five hours ‘yun tapos layover ng walong oras sa Turkey. Tapos five hours uli papuntang Kazakhstan.
“Darating kami madaling araw tapos practice kami ng gabi tapos next day, game na. Ganun katindi.”
Despite the tough conditions, Guiao believes the team remains prepared on the court as they look to clinch a spot in the Fiba World Cup in the sixth and final window.
“Dalawang araw lang kami doon. ‘Yun ‘yung mahirap, ‘yung acclimatization. But physically and mentally, I think they are ready. They have to toughen up and play in ‘yung mga extreme conditions na ‘yun,” said Guiao.