Batang Gilas coach prepares for Malaysia's three-point gunners, full-court press
Mike Oliver is pleased to see his players stay focused and keep the intensity high throughout the match. Jerome Ascano

COACH Mike Oliver was glad to see the big improvement in Batang Gilas’ performance, playing with more sense of urgency against Thailand after a lackadaisical finish in a win over Indonesia in the Seaba Under 16 Tournament. 

A day after Oliver pointed out their failure to sustain the intensity after taking a commanding lead early against the Indonesians, Batang Gilas responded with a blowout win over Thailand on Wednesday to improve to 3-0.

The national youth team forced the Thais to 31 turnovers which they converted into 46 points. They also limited their foes to 26 percent shooting, with the visiting side making just 18 of 67 shots.

Batang Gilas also outrebounded Thailand, 69-37. 

[See Unbeaten Batang Gilas blows past Thailand, sets up battle for Seaba gold with Malaysia]

"I'm happy 'cause we talked about defense sa huddle namin. Yung last game natin nag-relax tayo after first half e," said Oliver. 

"To keep the intensity going, from the start we instructed the players to go full court, man to man instead of mag formation tayo," he added. 

Oliver said it was exactly the type of performance he had hoped for as they head into their match against Malaysia on Thursday with the title on the line.

"Definitely, gusto rin ng Malaysia na mag-champion parehas natin. Same standing pa. Trabahuhin natin yan sa depensa," said Oliver. 

The former Far Eastern University mentor is wary of what the Malaysians have up their sleeves in the title game, especially with how they increase the pressure on defense. 

"Meron din silang good outside shooters at the same time masipag din sila dumepensa, nagpe-press sila ng full court e. Yun ang kailangan natin pagtuunan ng pansin, yung pressing defense."

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