NATIONAL coach Yeng Guiao believes Team Pilipinas must get used to the physicality in international play in order to have a chance against Kazakhstan and Iran in the Fiba Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers.
Guiao said overcoming the physicality in Fiba tournaments is the main thing that the players, particularly the bigs, will have to adjust for the next window where the Philippines will be facing towering teams.
“I think one main thing na kailangan natin to deal with is we have to make that mental adjustment on the physicality and the referees’ call,” Guiao said. “Sabi ko nga, this is totally different from the PBA. We have the four (tune-up) games. I hope that’s enough.”
“Sinasanay namin na makipagbanggan ‘yung mga malalaki natin. Kailangan masanay sila. Kazakhstan malalaki rin. Iran mas malalaki. The more time they get used to the bumping and the pushing, the better for them. ‘Yung mga malalaki natin, mapapalaban,” Guiao said.
Guiao said he would have preferred to play more tune-up games against international teams, but time was obviously short for that to happen.
“I would have wanted more games but mabubugbog na masyado ‘yung mga bata pagdating ng Friday. We cannot escape that. We cannot escape the bumping. Iba ‘yung binabangga ka ng malalaki at malalakas na mas experienced kesa sa binabangga tayo sa PBA na kasing laki lang natin,” said Guiao.
Guiao admitted the level of physicality in Fiba tournaments has been emphasized over and over to the bigs in June Mar Fajardo, Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar, Beau Belga, Christian Standhardinger, and Kai Sotto.
“I keep trying to emphasize that the players, we have only a few days to be able to perform under pressure, under physical duress than we are used to in the PBA,” said Guiao.
Guiao also warned the Team Pilipinas bigs will not get the same calls in the PBA compared to Fiba.
“It could get tougher, from my experience. Iba talaga ‘yung mga inaallow ng mga referees. Depende talaga sa referees kung anong klaseng physicality ang ia-allow… Paulit-ulit kong sinasabi sa mga players natin na hindi ito PBA. Hindi kayo maii-spoil dito. Superstars kayo sa PBA pero hindi kayo kilala ng mga referees dito na binangga kayo na puwedeng tumawag to bail you out,” said Guiao.
“Dito, kapag binangga kayo, bahala kayo sa buhay ninyo,” he added.