Yeng Guiao
Yeng Guiao mulls friendlies versus Aussies, Kiwis
Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) - April 24, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Head coach Yeng Guiao yesterday said Gilas Pilipinas needs more time to practice both here and abroad to stand a better chance in the FIBA World Cup in China from Aug. 30 to Sept. 15.

If he could have his way, Guiao wants the Gilas players practicing twice a day for four days in June, then twice a day for eight days in July, and eventually on a daily basis in August.

Guiao wants the team to play four or five tuneup matches with Australia, New Zealand or against European teams.

Also in his wish list is the inclusion of Filipino-American NBA standout Jordan Clarkson to the team bannered by naturalized player Andray Blatche and the finest the PBA can offer.

“We need early preparation and the important thing is the friendlies and tune-up matches,” said Guiao during the PSA Forum at the Amelie Hotel in Manila.

Guiao said he has submitted a “simple proposal” to the PBA yesterday aimed at providing the Gilas squad ample time to prepare.

Commissioner Willie Marcial was also present at the weekly forum supported by Amelie Hotel, San Miguel Corp., Tapa King and Pagcor. He said it can all be done.

“I’ve had initial talks with coach Yeng on this. We fully support him,” said Marcial. The matter will be discussed during the PBA board meeting tomorrow.

“We’re hoping we can start earlier,” said Guiao, adding that if all his wishes are granted then the Philippines stands a better chance of advancing to the next round.

The Philippines, ranked 31st in the world, will play No. 4 Serbia, No. 13 Italy and No. 39 Angola in Group D play. Two wins will carry Gilas in the next round.

Guiao said Clarkson “can change the whole complexion” if he makes it to the team and play alongside Blatche.

“With Jordan and Andray together, I think we will have a (better) chance at two wins. We will have a real fighting chance,” said Guiao.

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