EXPECT members of the Gilas Pilipinas coaching staff to be glued to the television day in and day out from now.
The tedious task of breaking down videos and poring over scouting reports hits fever pitch for Chot Reyes and his staff in the weeks leading up to Gilas Pilipinas' stint in the Fiba-Asia championships next month.
Gilas lost a golden chance to size up their rivals after Taiwan organizers revoked the invitation of Gilas to defend the Jones cup crown, but the coaching staff is making the most of the data that they can get its hands on.
“I think we are just doing the best thing we can with what we have. We were scheduled to play at the Jones cup but it didn’t push through,” said Gilas defensive coach Norman Black.
Black himself has been tasked to do the scouting in the Jones Cup, which runs from July 6 to 15 and serves as the final Fiba-Asia buildup for teams like Iran, Jordan, Japan, South Korea, Lebanon and Chinese Taipei.
“That’s (scouting) the best we can do. The ideal situation was really to play in the Jones cup so we can face those teams before we play them in the Fiba-Asia,” said Black.
Gilas is also set to leave for New Zealand to play a series of games against top NBL teams led by perennial league champions Wellington Saints.
The New Zealand tune-up matches, Black said, are scheduled to simulate Gilas' schedule in the August 1-11 tournament serving as the qualifiers for next year's world championships in Spain.
“I think the way he planned the games there is we play three games, we take a day off and play three games again, which is very similar to our schedule at the Fiba-Asia,” said Black.
“That way we will be able to feel exactly how to play six games in seven days. It’s also cold there so it’ll be pretty difficult situation for the team,” added the multi-titled mentor.
Gilas star guard LA Tenorio told Spin.ph the team is focusing on simulating game situations and adjusting to new roles assigned by Reyes.
“Ganun talaga, kailangang ilabas yung professionalism namin sa paglalaro. Kaya talagang serious naming sinusunod yung mga simulation drills,” said Tenorio.
“Yun na lang ang pwede naming gawin ngayon eh. Gayahin ang style ng ibang teams based sa mga scouting ng mga coaches,” he added.
Aside from this, Tenorio bared how Reyes have been trying to ingrain in them the different roles they are bound to play in the Asian tournament.
“Iba ang roles namin dito sa Gilas sa mga posisyon o ginagawa namin sa mga PBA teams namin. Yan ang makikita ninyo kapag nag-start na ang Fiba-Asia,” added the outspoken sentinel.
Black said the Gilas buildup is putting more premium on defense.
“We’re really focusing on it. We’re really trying to establish a strong defensive game plan and system that will help us against any team,” said Black.
“Whether we are facing a big or small team or an outside shooting or post team, we’re trying to work on all aspect of defense,” he added.
Black bared outside shooting will remain the team's main weapon offensively.