CHOT Reyes braces for the worst when Gilas Pilipinas collides with Jordan and its familiar coach at the close of the preliminary round of the FIBA-Asia Cup on Tuesday at the Wuhan Sports Centre in Wuhan, China.
Gilas currently totes an unbeaten 2-0 record and will try to close out the prelims with a victory against the Jordanians (1-1), who are now handled by former Smart Gilas coach Rajko Toroman.
In the event the Filipinos top Group B, they are set for a possible collision with Japan in the quarterfinals.
Still, Reyes said Jordan’s seemingly slow start which saw the 2011 Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship silver medalist open the tournament with a 63-85 loss to Chinese Taipei, belies the Arab powerhouse’s true strength.
“I think they’re just playing possum. We expect them (Jordanians) to be at their best,” said Reyes, whose team faces Jordan at 5:15 p.m. Manila time.
Reinging Asian champion Iran, led by Hamed Haddadi, has also dropped a game in the tournament, losing to host China, 58-65, last Sunday in their Group A match.
Gilas opened the tournament with a 78-64 thrashing of Chinese Taipei behind new recruit Paul Lee’s 18-point explosion, before whipping Singapore, 74-57, on Monday.
Although Gilas managed to reduce its turnovers from 26 against Chinese Taipei to just 12 against Singapore, Reyes said he reminded his players that Fiba-sanctioned tournaments are entirely different from PBA rules.
“Just have to continue learning (to play with) each other. And (learn) how the refs officiate,” he added.
The Jordanians, who are bannered by World Championship veteran Rasheim Wright and Wesam Al-Sous, bounced back from an 18-point shellacking by the Taiwanese with a vengeful 70-53 rout of the Singaporeans.