TEAM Pilipinas is going for quickness without sacrificing its size for its Fiba World Cup qualifier against Iran on Monday night.
Yeng Guiao said this is the rationale behind the team’s decision to insert Arwind Santos, Jayson Castro, Troy Rosario, and naturalized player Christian Standhardinger for the 7:30 p.m. match at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The four players took over the spot of Greg Slaughter, Poy Erram, Alex Cabagnot, and Stanley Pringle, who all suited up in the team’s 92-88 heartbreaker against Kazakhstan last Friday.
“We learned from the past game that it’s not size per se. Kailangan yung size natin, aside from being big you should also be strong and quick,” said Guiao after conducting the team’s Sunday practice also at the MoA Arena.
“Sila malaki sila, pero hindi lang sila malaki, skilled sila, malakas sila, mabilis sila. So just getting bigger is not going to be an advantage. We don’t want to lose the quicklnees while we get big.”
It was also the reason why June Mar Fajardo was retained in favor of the Slaughter.
“Isa lang muna sa kanila,” said Guiao. “That was the limitation we were forced to consider dito sa game na ito. We got big with June Mar definitely. We got big with Japeth (Aguilar). We want to get big with Christian Standhardinger, together with his quickness.”
Team Pilipinas lost to Iran in Tehran in their first meeting in September, 82-73.
Guiao vows to give the visiting team a good fight in the nationals’ last home game in the qualifiers, and at the same time, make up for that sorry loss to the Kazakhs.
“We’re eager and aching to get a win to compensate for our first game loss and to make our countrymen happy,” said the national mentor.