BOCAUE — Chot Reyes has put a premium on size ahead Gilas Pilipinas' monumental clash with Australia to close out the first round of the 2018 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers.
“For Australia, we need more size,” Reyes said when asked about his decision to call up Baser Amer and Carl Bryan Cruz in place of Jio Jalalon and Allein Maliksi from the lineup which played Chinese Taipei last Friday.
Reyes elaborated: “We need a bigger guard, which Baser gives us, and we need a bigger shooter, which CBC gives.”
Cruz suited up for Gilas Pilipinas in the first meeting against the Boomers, an 84-68 defeat, where he went scoreless in six minutes of action in Melbourne.
Amer, meanwhile, gets a chance to represent the country for the first time since he helped the Philippines win the gold in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur.
The Filipinos enter the Monday showdown full of confidence after a 93-71 victory over Chinese Taipei, setting its sighs on pole position in Group B thanks to Japan’s upset 79-78 victory over Australia.
Reyes, however, warned that beating the Boomers is easier said than done.
“For sure, Australia is not going to want to leave this part of the world without a victory. So they're gonna be really, really hard and really strong tomorrow. And we hope to be able to match that and to figure out a way to compete against them.”