AS the Gilas team bound for the Fiba Asia Cup scrimmaged with the cadets on Tuesday night, it became obvious to Terrence Romeo that they have a lot of catching-up to do with the national side bound for the Southeast Asian Games.
"Kami actually yung nacha-challenge kasi maganda yung pinapakita nila (Southeast Asian Games team) sa practice," Romeo said at the end of the scrimmage at the Meralco gym.
"Nakikita ko na nagkakaamuyan na sila. 'Yung play na ginawa nila kanina, actually tinanong ko nga si Coach Jong (Uichico) kung anong play 'yun, kasi kuhang-kuha nila eh. Ang gandang tignan."
The Gilas cadets, of course, enjoyed a headstart over their older counterparts, having been together during the Philippine team's campaign in the Jones Cup in Taipei last month.
However, Romeo acknowledged the Gilas veterans need to catch up soon if they hope to do well in the Fiba Asia Cup set from August 8-20 in Beirut, Lebanon.
"Kailangan gamitin namin yung pagiging professional namin na makapag-adjust kaagad during mga ganung situations," he said.
"Kahit kulang yung preparations namin, kailangan quick yung adjustments namin sa kung ano yung ipapagawa sa'min ni Coach Chot (Reyes)."
Romeo, though, is optimistic they will be prepared in time for their first game in China in the tournament where they finished second in the last two editions.
"Sana. Kasama naman yun sa pinagpe-pray namin at sa pinagtatrabahuhan namin ngayon na pagdating ng opening, ready kami," he said.
"Pero hindi magiging madali kasi 'di kami matagal na nakapag-prepare. Bibigay lang namin best namin, kung ano yung ipapagawa sa 'min ni Coach Chot. Kailangan mapagtrabahuhan namin ng sama-sama."