YENG Guiao urged Team Pilipinas to be ready for a ‘hard, physical’ battle against Kazakhstan in Friday’s FIBA World Cup qualifiers at the Mall of Asia Arena.
In particular, the national coach advised the players who were not in the team during the Asian Games in Jakarta and the fourth window of the qualifiers to be prepared with whatever physical plays the Kazakhs will bring on the court.
“Yung mga naglaro na sa Asian Games at tsaka sa fourth window medyo may idea na. Pero kung galing ka lang sa PBA and fresh, and a lot of them are just fresh from the PBA and not having played recently in international games, they will have to make that adjustment,” said Guiao shortly after Team Pilipinas conducted its final full practice Thursday.
“We don’t want them to make that adjustment in the real game itself.”
Of Guiao’s final 12-man roster, only Beau Belga, Gabe Norwood, Stanley Pringle and Poy Erram were on the national team that routed Kazakhstan 96-59, during the Asiad in Jakarta, Indonesia.
It’s for this reason that the four tune-up games Team Pilipinas played against Jordan and Lebanon served its purpose, according to Guiao.
“Nag-adjust na tayo doon sa apat na tune-up games natin,” said the national coach. “They’re very helpful actually, the mind-setting is very important because we know they’re going to be very physical.”
The Filipinos will be meeting the same Kazakhstan team they whipped in the Asiad, although Guiao doesn’t expect it to play the same way it did the last time.
“We cannot totally rely on what we did in the Asian Games. I’m sure they’re going to do something different, so we’re putting in some options just in case they try to differ from their original game in the Asiad,” said Guiao.
Following the Kazakhstan match, Team Pilipinas will take on Iran Monday.