By Ernest Hernandez
Gilas Pilipinas will be headed to Lebanon for the FIBA Asia Cup 2017 wars in a couple of weeks but head coach Chot Reyes seems to be worried at the lack of time to prepare. The squad only had 12 days to practice and build on their chemistry, a cause for concern for the veteran mentor.
“Nope,” Reyes said. “Not because we don’t have confidence with them but because we don’t have practice time. We have twelve days practice and it won’t even be twelve complete days.”
The PBA Governor’s Cup is currently ongoing, forcing select Gilas players to split their time playing for their home teams and the national squad. With some players absent during practices, building chemistry becomes doubly harder for Reyes.
“We are never going to be complete until the time we leave. So you tell me, are you going to be confident if you have a team that doesn’t have a complete practice before the tournament. It is hard to get confidence but we are not going to make it as an excuse, we are going to play our best and we will play our hardest.”
One key change compared to past Gilas Pilipinas teams is the absence of Andray Blatche. The NBA vet declined to play citing security reasons.
Running the dribble-drive offense that Gilas Pilipinas successfully had the past years would need a stretch-four. With Blatche out, there is no one fit for that slot, meaning the coaching staff will have to map out something different.
“We have gone from having the best spread four in the league to having no spread four – so that entails a big change,” said Reyes.
“I don’t dwell on the pieces that are not here. Wala siya, eh.So, ano gagawin natin? I can’t dwell on that. I have no problems with it.”
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