GILAS Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes refused to take the PBA All-Star selection lightly, insisting the side to be coached by Tim Cone may be "more talented individually" than his silver medal-winning team in the last Fiba-Asia championships in Manila.
“If you take a look, that (PBA All-star) team might be an even more individually talented team than the Gilas team, and that’s how deep the talent pool in the PBA is,” Reyes said after Gilas’ practice on Friday afternoon at the Mall of Asia Arena.
They Said It!
“They have everything in (the PBA All-Star selection) and that could very well be the national team." Gilas coach Chot Reyes
The outspoken Gilas mentor cited James Yap’s three-point shooting, Peter June Simon’s one-on-one skills as well as Ginebra rookie center Greg Slaughter’s size as some of the advantages the PBA All-Star squad has over Gilas in the 8 p.m. game on Sunday at the Mall of Asia serving as the highlight for this year’s All-Star Week.
“I don’t think there’s a better shooter than James Yap, or a one-on-one player like PJ Simon. There’s a great big man in Greg Slaughter,” explained Reyes, a five-time PBA Coach of the Year awardee.
“If you take away Marcus Douthit, we definitely don’t have a seven-footer and then they have great point guards. So they have everything in that team and that could very well be the national team,” he added.
Reyes, however, likes the fact that Gilas will have a chance to get reconnected as a team and play together for the first time since the Fiba-Asia cage joust in August as they prepare for the Fiba World Cup in Spain and the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
“The purpose of the game for me is to get the players together after a long time to play again and also a chance to take a look at others like Paul (Lee), JD (Jared Dillinger) and Beau (Belga) and how they play these guys,” said Reyes, whose team is set to participate in the Fiba Asia Cup on July 11.