by Ernest Hernandez
Gilas Pilipinas will buckle down to work on Monday, June 17 as they officially start practice. In a meeting with the players, he bared how preparations will be for the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China.
“First consideration naming is we want the team to be able to get in enough practice days. Balancing act siya sa PBA schedule so yun ang primary concern ko,” said Guiao. “So yung once a week lang na Monday, ginawa na naming twice a week.”
Come August, Gilas practices will be held every day including a tune up games to be held in Spain.
“August 4 alis kami for Spain, babalik ng 11 or 12 for the tune up games there. I think that that is a good tune up for us cause Spain has 7 or 8 NBA players and all of them will be there,” Guiao said.
“Medyo papagbigyan namin yung Spain, hindi naming tatambakan,” joked Guiao.
The FIBA World Cup kicks off on August 30 where the Philippines is bracketed with powerhouse Serbia, Italy and Angola. Gilas Pilipinas will need to win two in order to advance to the next round.
In Spain, a few African teams will also participate in the tune-ups. Giving the national team a chance to prepare a vital game against Angola.
“Magandang experience iyon para sa amin. Some African teams will be there also so it will be a good tune up for us because medyo mapaghandaan natin yung Angola,” he said.
Gilas Pilipinas will still come back to Manila and tweak the roster and improve their weaknesses after evaluating their performance in Spain before heading to China on the 27th of August.
“When we come back here, again, we will reset and see how we can make adjustments and improve based on the tune-up games and then 27 punta na kami sa China,” said Guiao.
Arriving early in China, Guiao still hopes to get more scrimmages with other teams before starting their run in the FIBA World Cup.
“I don’t know if we can still get scrimmages in China, if not, then we will practice by ourselves,” Guiao said.
For now, after a compromise with the PBA and the player’s mother teams, Guiao feels that this is the best thing that they can come up with for their preparation for the FIBA World Cup.
“I think this is the best plan na to mapagkasya namin ang practice days at yung hindi naming masyado magulo yung schedule ng PBA,” ends Guiao.