Nats to treat SEAG like Olympics
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - October 2, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Not leaving anything to chance as it vies for the gold that matters most to Filipinos, Gilas Pilipinas is treating its stint in the coming Southeast Asian Games as if it were the FIBA World Cup.

“I don’t think it’s a sure gold. We don’t think of it that way or else we risk stumbling or being shocked. So we’re ready for this and we have to be ready for this,” guard LA Tenorio said after coach Tim Cone’s 15-man pool for the SEA Games assembled for its first practice Monday night at Meralco Gym.

“Like what we’ve discussed in our (pre-practice) meeting, we’re preparing for the SEA Games like we’re preparing for the World Cup. It’s the same ‘cause you’re carrying national (pride), the Pilipinas jersey so it’s pretty much the same how you prepare.

“It doesn’t matter who you’re playing against, whether it’s Korea or Thailand, or Italy or Serbia or Malaysia or Singapore, you’re carrying the national team uniform, you have to prepare hard,” he added.

Tenorio cited how Team Phl survived a major scare against Thailand in the 2017 KL SEAG.

“I think we nearly lost to the Thais last time, if not for Kiefer’s (Ravena) crucial shot. So we can’t afford to relax and think this is like a tuneup or scrimmage for us. It is not, so expect that we’re going to prepare like we’re preparing for the World Cup or Asian Games or even the Olympics. That’s what we agreed upon in our meeting,” he said.

“And it’s going to make life easier if we have that mindset,” he added.

Tenorio leads six Ginebra players in the pool. Cone decided to make the Gin Kings the core of Gilas pool, tasking them to help him “coach” the non-Ginebra players and fast-track the learning of his system in the limited time they have.  The Ginebra boys are surrounded by veterans like the comebacking Jayson Castro of TNT for easier pick-up of what Cone intends to do.

“Every practice needs to be concise and efficient,” said Cone. “We spent most of our time talking, we didn’t have a lot of court time, just ran some basic offense and basic defense and we’re going to continue to do that and try to build a foundation.”

All the 15, except for June Mar Fajardo who’s having ankle issues, were on hand for the kickoff of training camp.

Meanwhile, TNT KaTropa (2-0) shoots for a share of the lead as it battles upset-concious Phoenix Pulse (1-2) in the main game of today’s PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.  NorthPort (1-1) and Columbian Dyip (1-1) tangle in the curtain raiser to dispute solo fourth.

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