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FRED WARRICK'S BLOG    View profile
195cm / 6'5'' - Shooting Guard / Small Forward - 1976    USA USA

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Tempered Expectation For Gilas In FIBA Asia Cup - Aug 6, 2017


POSTED BY:
ARIEL IAN CLARITO
E-mail Ariel Ian:
Ariel Ian's Articles


Undersized. Undermanned. Underprepared.

From lofty ambitions to tempered expectations. This is the story of Gilas Pilipinas as they go to battle in the FIBA Asia Cup which will start on August 8 in Beirut, Lebanon.

Up until the deadline of submission of line-ups for the tournament, the Gilas coaching staff was still hoping they could get a confirmation that naturalized player Andray Blatche was joining the team. When it became evident that no commitment from Blatche was forthcoming, Gilas decided to go with Filipino-German Christian Standhardinger as its naturalized player for the tournament.

When Gilas finally started its training for the FIBA Asia Cup, the team would face another challenge in practice attendance. Gilas players had to juggle their schedule between joining the national team trainings and playing for their mother teams in the on-going PBA Governor's Cup. The national quintet had a grand total of 12 days to work out as a team. Of those 12 days, the only time the team had all 12 players together was last August 1, so Gilas had only a day of complete attendance in training.

As if these obstacles and limitations were not daunting enough, Gilas would be thrown another monkey wrench in its FIBA Asia Cup bid when 6'10 Junmar Fajardo suffered a calf injury. Fajardo, a 3-time MVP and the most dominant player in the PBA, was expected to play a major role in the Gilas campaign and was poised to finally have a breakout campaign in the international stage. Fajardo was not only the team's best frontliner, he was also the only one who had the height, the heft, and the skill-set to match-up against the top bigs of other countries.

In Fajardo's absence, Gilas will have to settle with a frontline of 6'9 Japeth Aguilar, 6'8 Raymond Almazan, and 6'8 Standhardinger. They will be terribly undersized in their first game when they go up against China which will parade its great wall made up of 7'2 Li Muhao, 7'1 'Shaq of China' Dejun Han, and 19 year old 6'11 Jinqui Hu. Things do not get easier for Gilas in their two other games in the first round. Qatar will parade US NCAA-honed 6'10 Nasser Al-Rayes, 6'9 Omer Salem, 6'9 Yehia Abdelhaleem, and 6'8 veteran Mohd Yousuf Mohammed. Iraq will be bannered by 6'10 Ali Hameed, 6'9 Mohammed Al-Khafaji, and 6'9 Hussein Hasan Algburi.

Despite all the hurdles the team has faced even prior to the tournament, Coach Chot Reyes has vowed the players will be fighting tooth and nail and showcase 'Puso', the Gilas fighting heart that carried them through in the 2013 and 2015 FIBA Asia where the Philippines placed 2nd and in the 2014 FIBA World Cup where Gilas beat Senegal and almost pulled off upset wins versus Argentina, Croatia, and Puerto Rico. It remains to be seen if 'Puso' alone will be enough to overcome Gilas's lack of height and preparation.   



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Gilas Forms 23-player pool for FIBA qualifiers- Nov.6, 2017  (by Ariel Ian)

Gilas Pilipinas began its preparation for the FIBA World Cup qualifier this November by forming a 23-man pool from which the final line-up will be culled. Coach Chot Reyes, fully aware that rivals Japan and Chinese-Taipei already started training in October, chose players who made up the Gilas Pilipinas teams in the SEABA held in Manila last May and the FIBA Asia Cup held in Lebanon last August to ensure there is already familiarity with the system that the national team employs [read more]
Tim Lewis Boosts Gilas Preparations- Jul.30, 2017  (by Ariel Ian)

Respected coach Timothy Charles Lewis has recently been seen in the practices of Gilas Pilipinas which is preparing for the FIBA Asia Cup which is scheduled on August 8-20 and the Southeast Asian Games which will run from August 18-31. Lewis is a former lead assistant coach of the Bakersfield Jam in the NBA D-League. He also has extensive experience in the international scene, serving as head coach of the British Under-20 national team and assistant coach of the British senior men's nati... [read more]
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