Philippine quintet takes on Lebanon, Jordan in tune-ups
Coach Yeng Guiao said they would start training after the quarterfinal round of the PBA Governors Cup, putting together a new pool to be bannered by huge frontline players Andray Blatche, June Mar Fajardo, Greg Slaughter and Christian Standhardinger.Philstar.com/Denison Rey A. Dalupang
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine national quintet plays Lebanon and Jordan in tune-up matches in the run-up to the FIBA World Cup qualifier's fifth and penultimate window where the Nationals takes on Kazakhstan on November 30 then Iran on December 3 both at the Mall of Arena Arena in Pasay City.
“It would be a big help for our preparation, and we’re not leaving the country for these games,” said national coach Yeng Guiao of the warm-ups versus Lebanon and Jordan, Western Asian teams also in the hunt for a World Cup entry from a different pool.
Guiao said they would start training after the quarterfinal round of the PBA Governors Cup, putting together a new pool to be bannered by huge frontline players Andray Blatche, June Mar Fajardo, Greg Slaughter and Christian Standhardinger.
There’s also 16-year-old 7-1 national youth Kai Sotto and returning national pool players Jayson Castro, Terrence Romeo and Troy Rosario.
“Actually, I haven’t seen Kai play yet. I want to see him play against June Mar and Greg,” said Guiao.
“The primary purpose is to accelerate his development. Pero baka magulat tayo, pwede na pala, and there’s a slight chance for him to get to the Final 12. I’m not taking that away,” Guiao added.
Guiao divulges the complete makeup of the new national pool in a meeting with the PBA board of governors this morning at the PBA office in Libis, Quezon City.
Guiao told The STAR he’s looking at two to three guys who have yet to see action in the previous FIBA windows.
Blatche, Castro, Romeo and Rosario are back in the picture as they would have served their three-game FIBA suspensions by the time Team Philippines tangles with Iran.
With the breakup of the Gilas team following the Gilas-Australia brawl, taking over in the recent FIBA window were Standhardinger, Stanley Pringle, Paul Lee, Alex Cabagnot, Gabe Norwood, Scottie Thompson, Poy Erram, Ian Sangalang, Marcio Lassiter, Raymond Almazan, Allein Malicsi, Beau Belga and Asi Taulava.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said the board wants to hear from Guiao for the necessary arrangements and adjustments the league would have to make in support of the country’s World Cup drive.
It’s back-to-back home games for the Filipinos before playing two successive “away” games to close out their campaign in the qualifiers. Team Philippines plays Qatar in Doha and Kazakhstan in Almaty in February.