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    Youthful Kazakhstan coach sees different ending to PH grudge match

    Nov 29, 2018
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    KAZAKHSTAN coach Renatas Kurilionokas hopes for a different result on Friday when it plays Team Pilipinas in the Fiba Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers at the Mall of Asia Arena.

    The last time Kazakhstan faced the Philippines, they were dealt a 37-point beating, 96-59, at the start of the Asian Games basketball competition at the GBK Basketball Hall in Jakarta where it lost last August 16.

    Kurilionokas, 28, said his team hopes to make the match more competitive especially after getting enough time to prepare and, more importantly, rest before their match against Team Pilipinas after arriving on Wednesday night.

    During the Asian Games, the youthful coach said the team had issues with their flight to Jakarta after arriving on the eve of the game.

    “I’m sure that it will be a different game. We had problems with the flights. For example, in the Asian Games, we arrived 8 p.m. and we played like 10 in the morning (the next day). That’s a big difference.

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    “We had a 12-hour flight. Everybody slept on the plane. In the night, players didn’t sleep well. We had breakfast, 7 or 8 in the morning… They are not used to such conditions,” said Kurilionokas.

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      Kurilionokas expects the extra day to rest and train to benefit Kazakhstan as the team looks to improve on a 3-5 record.

      “We came yesterday. It will be a different game for sure,” said Kurilionokas.

      “It’s everything on us if we want to play an equal game against the Philippines. Everything depends on us. If we play defense, we will feel more comfortable on offense. We will see tomorrow which team will play much better,” said Kurilionokas.

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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