All isn’t lost yet for Gilas, says PH coach
FOSHAN, China—“We still have a lot to play for. This is not over for us.”
Yeng Guiao motivated Gilas Pilipinas during practice Tuesday afternoon, September 3, 2019, with that statement, one which could mean two things—that the Nationals still have a shot at an outright Olympic berth if they beat Angola on Wednesday and that the Filipinos do belong in the world stage, contrary to what a European coach would want people to believe.
Already relegated to the consolation round after two horrific losses, the Filipinos’ hopes for an outright Olympic berth as the best Asian team here were revived after China lost to Poland in overtime Monday night in Beijing.
If the Philippines beats Angola in the 3:30 p.m. match at Foshan International Sports and Cultural Arena and China loses to Venezuela, Gilas can take the fight for an Olympic slot to the consolation rounds.
And then there’s that thing about deserving a slot in the world stage after losing to Serbia, 126-67, Monday night.
“Yes, there’s a gap between Asian and European basketball, and that’s why we’re here (to close that gap),” Guiao told a handful of reporters who broke Serbia coach Sasha Djordjevic’s comments hinting that the Filipinos shouldn’t be playing here. “What I know is that we passed the quality test for Asia, that’s why we’re here.”
“If he has a problem with that, he can take it up with Fiba,” added Guiao.
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