LESS than two weeks before it departs for the final window of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers, Team Pilipinas is facing a dilemma that concerns coach Yeng Guiao the most.
Until now, the national team has yet to play a major tune-up match 10 days before it leaves for Doha, Qatar for the final phase of its campaign for a berth in this year’s FIBA World Cup in China.
“I’m very concerned because can you imagine the only time we’ll see them compete is in the game itself,” Guiao said shortly at the end of the nationals’ practice at the Meralco gym on Tuesday night.
“So that’s a big concern,” he said. “But we couldn’t find any other solution to that problem.”
Team Pilipinas was supposed to play Alab Pilipinas in an exhibition match only for the defending ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) champion to back out at the last minute.
That left the nationals to scrimmage on their own again as it slowly tries to incorporate naturalized player Andray Blatche back into the team system.
Blatche likewise had been joining NLEX in practice and earlier, Rain or Shine, to help him quickly learn the plays being run by Guiao and his coaching staff.
“We just have to work with those limitations. Yung practice niya with NLEX and earlier with Rain or Shine, malaking bagay na yun. Kung hindi natin gagawin yun kulang na kulang talaga sa oras,” said Guiao.