THE Asian Games-bound men’s basketball team will start its preparations on Monday, just a day after a change of heart by the Philippines' basketball stakeholders.
Head coach Yeng Guiao said time is of the essence which is why the team will begin practices on Monday.
“We will practice starting tomorrow and we will have to leave on the 14th,” said Guiao.
Guiao admitted the basketball team is already cramming to prepare, which is why he decided on putting in players whom he is familiar with.
The Philippine team will have six players from Rain or Shine, Guiao’s former team before he moved to NLEX. The six are Maverick Ahanmisi, Chris Tiu, Gabe Norwood, James Yap, Beau Belga, and Raymund Almazan.
Two from the 14 players in Paul Lee and Don Trollano are also former players of Rain or Shine.
“Time is really short even before when we first planned this. Maikli lang ang oras. With what happened in the last two weeks, lalo pang umiksi para maghanda. That’s one reason why core ng Rain or Shine (ang pinili) because these guys are familiar with me and I’m familiar with them,” said Guiao.
Guiao admitted the players were not yet informed of the coaching staff’s decision to include them in the national team bound for the Asian Games.
“Bukas, magta-trabaho na kami although hindi ko alam kung alam na ng ibang players kasi sabay sabay tayong naka-alam nito. Baka ‘yung mga players na na-mention namin, I’m sure ngayon lang nila nalaman. Baka ‘yung iba, nagulat din,” said Guiao during the press conference.
Despite the limited time, Guiao is confident the coaching staff will be able to jell the team in time for the Asian Games, more so since he has worked with most of the players as far back as 2009 when Guiao coached Yap and Taulava in the national team.
“We feel na kaya naming i-jell with this week or so. Ahanmisi, Lee, Tiu, Norwood, Trollano, Almazan, Belga, Taulava, they are familiar with me and I’m familiar with them. But I don’t see any problem working with Pringle, Standhardinger, or Poy Erram. Knowing that there is time constraints involved also factored in the decision of the line-up,” Guiao said.