HE does not want to put any more pressure on coach Yeng Guiao, but Rain or Shine co-team owner Raymond Yu says the hastily-formed Philippine basketball team has what it takes to pull off surprises despite landing in a tough group in the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games next week.
The Philippine team is now bracketed with powerhouse China and dangerous Kazakhstan in Group D following its late re-entry in the continental sports extravaganza. The fourth team – Palestine – has withdrawn.
“Let’s admit it’s really a tough group but we should not be cowed,” said Yu, who watched the team’s practice ln Wednesday along with co-team owner Terry Que and Asian Coatings Philippines chairman Yu An Kun. “We also have good materials like them and we have an excellent motivational coach in Yeng Guiao.”
Que agreed, saying: “Knowing these players, they will do everything for the country. Great odds can bring the best out of these players.”
The Nationals, six of them from ROS, meet the Kazakhs on Aug. 16 and the Chinese on Aug. 21.
The ROS-led PH team needs to win one of two matches in the prelims to advance to the knockout quarterfinals.
Asked why ROS continued to support the country’s participation in the quadrennial sports spectacle despite the earlier withdrawal, Yu had a simple answer.
“For flag and country, we are willing to sacrifice our team and support the PH team,” said Yu, whose father Yu An Kun was a former member of the Philippine football training team. “Our company is mightily proud to be of help to the national cause.”
Yu’s belief that there will still be a PH team in the Asian Games remained strong despite the earlier withdrawal.
“Deep in my heart, I know we will take part in the event because basketball has a calming effect on all Filipinos. It is very close to our hearts,” said Yu.