By WAYLON GALVEZ
COACH Yeng Guiao wants to have a bigger and taller Philippine side in the FIBA World Cup qualifiers.
“We are always looking for size because even here (Asian Games) that’s has been our problem,” said Guiao, who will call the shots for the PH team following the suspension of Chot Reyes.
Aside from the 7-foot Greg Slaughter and the 6-foot-7 Ian Sangalang, Guiao is also eyeing shooters Alex Cabagnot and Marcio Lassiter, and Scottie Thompson.
Thompson will bring a lot on the table with his energy and leaping ability.
Guiao is hoping to get Slaughter since June Mar Fajardo is not available because of his injury.
The 6-foot-10 Fajardo is still recovering from a bruised shin injury.
Cabagnot, Lassiter and Thompson are likely shoo-ins, while Sangalang still has to prove himself at the frontline since the PH already has JP Erram, Raymond Almazan, Beau Belga, Fil-German Christian Standhardinger and Fil-Tongan Asi Taulava from his Asian Games roster.
“I’m very happy with the way the players are progressing – we’re moving the ball well, play defense and execute our game plan in the Asian Games,” said Guiao.
“But when we go back to Manila and start practicing for the FIBA World Cup qualifiers, almost half of the team will be gone – we’ll actually start from scratch in terms of running your options and your plays again,” he added.
Guiao will handle the PH team when it faces Iran in Tehran on Sept. 13 and Qatar in Manila on Sept. 17.
Former NBA player Hamed Haddadi will spearhead the Iranians.
The 7-foot-2 Haddadi led Iran to an 80-68 win over South Korea in the semis of the Asian Games.
They will play against the Mighty China for the gold.