GILAS Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes admitted that Chinese-Taipei worries him more than Jordan in the preliminary stages of the coming Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship.
The national mentor believes the Taiwanese have improved a lot game-wise especially with the acquisition of naturalized center Quincy Davis.
“Hindi sila medyo nakakatakot - nakakatakot talaga. Ang ganda ng nilalaro nila,” said the outspoken coach. “In my mind now, mas malakas pa sila kaysa sa Jordan. They’ll be a bigger problem for us than Jordan."
Davis, raised in Los Angeles, California, was recently conferred naturalization by Chinese Taipei primarily for the qualifier for the Fiba-World Championship set to reel off next week at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The 6-foot-9 power forward averaged more than 18 points, 13.6 rebounds, and 2.4 shot blocks per game in the recently concluded William Jones Cup tournament, where the Taiwan national team A finished runner-up behind Iran.
“Kumpleto na talaga `yung team nila (Chinese Taipei), and now they have the center that they’ve lacked in the past,” said Reyes, who nonetheless remains positive Gilas Pilipinas will be able to top Group A in the preliminaries despite being bracketed with Chinese Taipei, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.
Reyes is also keeping his fingers crossed the nationals will continue to peak in time for the tournament tip-off on August 1.
“My only concern now is (on how) to peak at the right time sa August 1. More than anything, that’s what I am wary of,” said Reyes, who criticized his players’ performance against a PBA selection on Wednesday night in the MyPhone-sponsored two-game exhibition series.
“Kumpleto na, we have our game plans prepared. Kumpleto na. It’s just a matter now of executing and putting it together,” said Reyes.