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2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

Chot Reyes defends decision to field same SMART Gilas 12 against Chinese-Taipei



Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Chot Reyes defends decision to field same SMART Gilas 12 against Chinese-Taipei 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  Chot Reyes Chinese-Taipei (Basketball) 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers Group B

SMART Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes has justified his decision of not tweaking the 12-man team that will battle Chinese Taipei in their second game of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers on Monday.

Reyes’ decision to stay with the same squad he had versus Japan last Friday stems from the idea that the Akatsuki Five and the visiting Taiwanese cagers have the same make-up, and his initial roster can match up very well.

“Hindi na, because parehong-pareho naman yung team. Japan and Chinese Taipei are very similar in their make-up so we decided not to make any changes,” said the veteran strategist after Gilas’ practice, Sunday at the Meralco Gym.

“Plus nanalo naman, so why make a change?”

That team consists of Andray Blatche, Jayson Castro, Gabe Norwood, June Mar Fajardo, Calvin Abueva, Troy Rosario, Allein Maliksi, Japeth Aguilar, Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas, Roger Pogoy, and Matthew Wright.

Despite this, the multi-titled Reyes still remains wary of their Taiwanese counterparts, even if the latter is coming off a blowout loss to world powerhouse Australia last Friday in their Asian Qualifiers curtain-raiser.

“There’s a chance that they can always spring some surprises against us, and di nila nilabas lahat ng gusto nila gawin in the game against Australia,” warned Reyes, who also enumerated field goal shooting, rebounds, and turnovers as points of emphasis on Monday.

“We just have to be prepared, so we focused on individual tendencies and just knowing the players we’re guarding.”