Nationals to start preparation for FIBA World Cup qualifiers Monday

Nationals to start preparation for FIBA World Cup qualifiers Monday

Rain or Shine owners Terry Que and Raymond Yu (standing, from left, fifth and sixth, respectively) and Asian Coatings Philippines chairman Yu An Kun pose with the Asian Games-bound Philippine basketball team. With them are coach Yeng Guiao (center) and Phl team manager Butch Antonio (far left).

JAKARTA – Coach Yeng Guiao and his staff are now mapping out plans for the coming September window of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers even as they gear up for a fifth-place finish when they take on Syria Friday in the 18th Asian Games men’s basketball competition here.

They’re trying to book a flight home right after their game against Syria as they’re to start Monday their preparation versus Iran in Tehran on September 13 and against Qatar in a closed-door game at home on September 17.

Later on, Team Philippines is also to battle Kazakhstan in the second round of the World Cup qualifiers, where the Nationals are now grouped with Australia, Japan, Iran, Qatar and Kazakhstan.

And that’s why so crucial is the presence here of the Filipino scouts, led by former three-time PBA coach Ryan Gregorio.

While helping out Guiao in all their Asiad games, Gregorio, Ford Arao and Ricky Umayam are also tasked to take a look at the Iranians, the Qataris and the Kazakhs.

“We did the scouting already. Our coaching staff is advanced on its task,” said Guiao, with a chief deputy in Rain or Shine head coach Caloy Garcia.

Guiao, tapped to take over from suspended Gilas coach Chot Reyes, said all 12 PBA players here, including reserve Don Trollano, would be highly considered for the team to the FIBAWC qualifiers.

But the fiery national mentor has hinted at tweaking the lineup a bit especially as all PBA players would be available for the September FIBA window.

The PBA Governors Cup will take a break to give way to Team Philippines’ games against Iran and Qatar.

Out are Andray Blatche, Calvin Abueva, Terrence Romeo, Jayson Castro, RR Pogoy, Troy Rosario, Matthew Wright, Japeth Aguilar, Carl Bryan Cruz and Jio Jalalon, who were suspended in the aftermath of the Gilas-Australia brawl. June Mar Fajardo is also out due to an injury.