Gilas wary of tough Taiwan 5
Chot Reyes

Gilas wary of tough Taiwan 5

Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) - June 27, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Coach Chot Reyes said Gilas Pilipinas has to be at its level best as he anticipates a tough challenge against a back-to-the-wall Chinese Taipei team in their rematch in the first round of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers at the Taipei Heping Basketball Gymnasium Friday.

“This is their qualification game. If they beat us they get into the next round, so we know that Chinese Taipei is going to throw everything at us. It’s incumbent upon us to be just as ready and sharp as well,” said Reyes on an ESPN5 report.

Historically, Chinese Taipei has never been an easy opponent for the Philippines.

It would be remembered that Gilas Pilipinas went down to a bitter 79-84 loss to Chinese Taipei right at home at the MOA Arena during group plays in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship.

And over at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in their initial meeting in this WC eliminator, the Nationals barely overcame the Taiwanese, 90-83, in a tight duel.

Now comes their rematch where the Taiwanese could well be fired up by the home crowd and their burning desire to book a spot in the next round of the WC qualifiers.

While Australia (4-0) and the Philippines (3-1) are assured of passage into the next round, Chinese Taipei (1-3) is barely half-game up on Japan (0-4) in their fight for the last slot.

A sellout crowd will be behind the home team in their 7 p.m. setto with the Filipinos.

But the guest team is also as determined to go for the win to jack up the record that it would carry over to the next round.

“Considering we just got off the plane, I thought there was a lot of energy,” said Reyes in their practice upon arrival in Taipei Monday.

“But more than anything we wanted a lot of mental concentration because everything we need to do we have to get them done already so that the next few days we’ll just focus on execution and running it against some live defense,” Reyes pointed out.

Gilas lifted weights then had a viewing session before running its plays and patterns in practice in their second day in Taipei.

They will have two more days of training before Reyes decides on his final 12.

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