NATIONAL coach Jong Uichico hopes that his wards have learned a thing or two after a “disappointing” win over Singapore in Sinag Pilipinas’ debut in the 2013 Southeast Asian Games in Naypyitaw.
The Philippines defeated Singapore, 88-75, to win its first game of the tournament, but the final score the struggle Sinag went through against a tough-fighting Singapore side that tied the match at halftime and even took the lead in the early stages of the third quarter.
"We cannot play that way, na hindi na maka-score, hind pa maka-depensa," said Uichico.
Heavily favored in the regional meet especially after securing a spot in the Fiba World Cup next year, the Philippines is still expected to breeze to the gold medal even after the Singapore scare.
Still, Uichico warned they can't take opponents lightly.
"It's all about state of mind. Hindi puwedeng masyado tayong relaxed, kasi madali ang kalaban. Tayo ang kalaban. Dapat ayusin natin ang sarili natin," Uichico said.
Uichico, however, credited Singapore for not giving up against the Filipino cagers.
“They've improved a lot,” said Uichico. “We also have certain chemistry issues, pero it's all about mindset.
"Hindi puwedeng isipin nating kayang-kaya ang kalaban. We have to realize na marunong din ang kalaban. Kung ganyan lagi ang iisipin natin, baka maisahan tayo," the coach of the 2002 Asian Games basketball squad said.
The Filipino cagers will face Cambodia on Tuesday. The Cambodians defeated the host country, 75-60, in their first game.