by Jonas Terrado
Gilas Pilipinas coach Yeng Guiao is seeking a lengthier preparation time after being given full preparation of only 10 days before the FIBA World Cup set Aug. 31 to Sept. 15 in China.
PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial had earlier said that Gilas will likely undergo the said preparation time aside from the twice-a-week practices due to the league’s busy calendar.
“Parang nakukulangan ako dun,” Guiao admitted Friday after his PBA team NLEX was eliminated by Alaska in a playoff for the eighth and final Philippine Cup quarterfinals berth at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“Siguro dapat more than 10 days yung full (training). We still have to talk with the PBA about it, but as much as possible we want something more than 10 days,” he added.
The current Philippine Cup is set to end in the middle part of May, with the Commissioner’s Cup slated to starts days after and last until Aug. 20 at the latest.
Gilas will participate in Group D of the World Cup set in the Chinese city of Foshan alongside Serbia, Italy and Angola. The Philippines must emerge as the best-placed Asian team to secure berth in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Guiao said Gilas’ will likely start preparing in June with the said twice-a-week scrimmages even while trying to entertain tune-up games against teams that also qualified for the World Cup.
However, the tune-up games still depends on whether the dates can fit with the PBA schedule.
“We will request the PBA to allow us to practice twice-a-week,” Guiao said. “But I guess yung more important is yung tune-up games, we wanna be able to do tune-up games with teams that are approximate to the teams that are in our group.”
Guiao had earlier hinted the possibility of facing Australia or New Zealand in exhibition matches prior to the World Cup.
The prospect of a match against the Aussies obviously drew attention after the Boomers and Gilas engaged in a massive brawl in last year’s World Cup Qualifiers match at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
“All we know is there are teams that are inviting us to go there and play in some countries where they are also qualified for the World Cup,” he said. “We will talk with the SBP kung ano dun sa invitation ang viable sa PBA. But so far, wala pa.”