Manny V. Pangilinan. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan would be the first to call for a longer preparation for Gilas Pilipinas as it braces for the second window of the 2019 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers.
“I’m not a coach, but I would love for the team to have at least a month to prepare for the competition together, of course. Otherwise, our chances are not good against other teams,” Pangilinan said on the heels of the Philippines’ 90-83 victory over Chinese Taipei on Monday.
Gilas ended the first leg of the Asian qualifiers unscathed after pulling out victories against Japan and Chinese Taipei to go up at joint first in Group B.
But Pangilinan knows that the road will just get tougher from here as the as the Philippines faces Australia next in February before hosting Japan here at home.
That’s why Pangilinan isn’t tooting his horns for Gilas’ 2-0 record as he braces for the team’s next foes.
“Australia is a very good team. So if we’re serious about competing against Australia, we have to give enough time for the team to jell,” he said.
“This team only had three weeks to prepare so frankly, I thought they were bit rusty in Tokyo and you saw tonight that they were rusty. They were not jelling really well in the first half. I’m just glad that in the second half, they got into the rhythm and they got themselves into the groove.“
Still, Pangilinan couldn’t be any more pleased that the Philippines managed to go 2-0 despite having little time to prepare.
“Given the circumstances under which the team was formed, of course, I’m very happy for the team. I’m very proud of them and I’m sure, Fiba would notice that we’ve done well despite everything we had to go through.”
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