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    Jordan physicality, tuneups prepare PH team for games that matter, says Guiao

    Nov 23, 2018
    PHOTO: jerome ascaño

    NATIONAL team coach Yeng Guiao was a picture of calm when he took the court on Thursday, a day removed after engaging in a shouting match against Jordanian counterpart Joseph Steibing.

    For the fiery bench tactician, he believes that the pair of tuneup games against Jordan has served its purpose, all in preparation for the fifth window of the 2019 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers.

    "It's exactly what we anticipated. It's going to be rugged and we're going to make the adjustments, especially sa officiating and rules and the tolerance for physicality is different. So that's the first adjustment that the team has to make," he said.

    The Filipinos had contrasting results in their exhibition matches against the Jordanians over the past three days.

    The visitors punished the Nationals' defense with their on-point outside shooting that led to the 98-92 win on Monday, but the hosts were quick to retort, making the necessary moves in the second half to take the 82-73 lead before the game was ultimately called off midway through the fourth quarter on Wednesday.

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      Guiao said that those games served as eye-openers for the squad as he hopes to rectify those miscues before the November 30 game against Kazakhstan and the December 3 clash against Iran, both at Mall of Asia Arena.

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      "We were not able to do adjustments in the first game. Nung second game, late na kami nakapag-adjust, sa second half na. I was a little worried with our performance in the first half, but they responded well after the halftime talk so it's a good lesson. At least, the two Jordan games primed us up in terms doon sa aspect ng physicality for our games against Kazakhstan and Iran," he said.

      "We have to be mentally prepared to accept that and embrace that it's going to be that physical and we have to perform under pressure and under duress. I think that's a lesson that we learned in the past two games."

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      Team Pilipinas has two more chances to show those improvements, and Guiao would like to see those lessons turn to actuations in its tuneup games against Lebanon slated on Friday and Sunday.

      "We hope to be able to carry those lessons in the Lebanon games and hopefully, sustain that all the way to the window. Nag-iimprove naman tayo every day, plus nakikita ko naman na not just yung execution natin but yung camaraderie, the teamwork, and the bonding off the court is also good," he said.

      "That's why these tuneup games should help us prepare, to be able to sustain yung ability namin to perform from the beginning at hindi yung maghahabol ka na lang pag na-realize mo na behind ka na pala. We don't want to commit that mistake when we play in the fifth window."

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      PHOTO: jerome ascaño
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