DESPITE losing three of its four tune-up matches, coach Yeng Guiao remains confident of Team Pilipinas’ chances going into the penultimate window of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers.
After a split against Jordan, the Filipinos absorbed back-to-back losses against Lebanon, including a 71-58 setback on Sunday night to cap their week-long tune-up series.
Guiao did give the team a piece of his mind after the game for what he labelled as ‘a lack of effort’ on the part of the players, although that did not deter him from believing the nationals will deliver when it matters most.
“Yung competitive nature medyo disappointed ako because I felt they could have exerted more effort,” said Guiao following the game watched by a jampacked crowd at the Meralco gym in Pasig.
“But we’re positive naman we can play a good game against Kazakhstan on Friday.”
Team Pilipinas opens its campaign in the fifth window of the qualifier this weekend, followed by the game against Iran on Dec. 3. Both matches will be played at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The next few days will be utilized by the team to put together what it learned in its tune-up games with Lebanon and Jordan, said Guiao.
“We have a lot of work to do, which we hope to make it matter in the games that are more important to us, which is the Kazakhs and Iran games,” said the national coach.
The team’s final 12-man roster will be announced by Guiao and his coaching staff on the eve of its match against Kazakhstan.
Instead of trimming the current pool to 15 players, Guiao and his staff will just announce right away the composition of the final roster against the Kazakhs.
“May idea na kami kung sino yung final 12. The scrimmages and tune-up games were big factors in choosing the players,” he said.
“Diretso na kami sa 12. Meron na kaming idea.”