YENG Guiao has nothing but admiration for the Gilas Pilipinas Youth team despite being winless in two games in its FIBA U-19 World Cup campaign in Heraklion, Greece.
Guiao said he likes the way the young Filipinos are competing against teams which he said are "higher-ranked than we are and bigger than we are."
Despite losing big man AJ Edu to injury barely two minutes into its debut against Greece, the youth squad managed to give the host country, 85-69, and Argentina, 77-72, a very good fight before losing in the end.
But the team’s effort was more than enough to please the head coach of the Philippine men’s basketball team.
“In the two games that we lost, we were not overwhelmed, we were not intimidated,” said Guiao after the practice of the Gilas Pilipinas team on Monday night at the Meralco gym.
“And too me that’s something to be proud of. And magandang showing na yan actually, magandang showing na yan para sa akin.”
Guiao had nothing but praise for the way the Filipinos played against the Argentine, where they rallied from as much as a 15-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter to threaten at 73-69 with 33 seconds left.
But the Argentines kept the Gilas Youth at bay by sinking four straight free throws down the stretch to deal the Filipinos their second straight loss in Group C.
The Filipino teens cap their preliminary round assignment against Russia early Wednesday morning.
“I’m very proud with the way they played especially yung game kaninang madaling araw. I really thought we had a good chance against Argentina even without Edu,” Guiao noted.
“Now I’m looking forward to the game against Russia,” added the Gilas Pilipinas coach.