TEAM Pilipinas coach Yeng Guiao reminded the sense of urgency required for the country’s gear-up ahead of the sixth window of the Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers.
The national squad held its first practice for the final window of the World Cup qualifiers on Monday, with Guiao emphasizing the importance of the next few weeks for the team.
Currently, the Philippines is in fourth place in Group F with a 5-5 win-loss slate. Only the top three teams in Groups E and F and the best fourth-place team will make it to the 2019 Fiba Basketball World Cup.
“Just gave them an orientation of the basic things we expect and what they can expect from us, what kind of commitment we require dito sa team. We just wanted to emphasize that this is really a sacrifice, it’s a sacrifice of the effort, time, your emotions, and physical abilities,” Guiao said after the light practice at the Ynares Sports Center.
“You have to accept na that’s part of the responsibility of being a national team player,” Guiao said.
Guiao also stressed the need to work right now, with Gilas facing must-win games against Qatar and Kazakhstan on the road.
“I also spoke to them about the urgency of winning in this window if we want to make it to the World Cup,” Guiao said. “Must win tayo, our backs are against the wall. We can’t just try to make them feel that urgency when the game is there already.”
“Kailangan ngayon pa lang, naiintindihan na nila ‘yung importance para sa practice pa lang, trabaho na tayo. Hindi mo puwedeng sabihin na doon ka na magtrabaho sa game na. That may be too late. It’s time to really feel the urgency and start the preparation,” said Guiao.
To stress the importance of the preparations, Guiao has set up a twice-a-week practice which will increase once the sixth window gets closer.
“We also asked them to appeal to their teams for understanding kasi from now on, we start practicing twice a week and then sa February, baka madagdagan. We will try to do thrice a week sa February if the schedule permits,” said Guiao.
“After the PBA games, bago mag-suspend ‘yung conference, araw araw na kami and then, we will leave earlier so we can schedule tune-up games before we go to Qatar."
"I wanted them to have an idea what the schedule is para mapaghandaan din nila sa sarili nila ‘yung mga personal commitments para maayos na nila ‘yung schedule nila,” he said.