The good news for Gilas Pilipinas is that the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals will end this week, which means the trio of June Mar Fajardo, Troy Rosario, and Roger Pogoy can finally return to national team duties.
But Gilas head coach Yeng Guiao sees a bit of a problem once the three veteran internationalists come back.
Himself a decorated mentor in the pros, Guiao knows how exhausting a title series can be. So he also knows that the three will need some time before they can fully refocus on Gilas.
“The mere fact na yung isip nila wala talaga sa Gilas ngayon, and they’re focused on what they’re doing… Meron ding adjustment yun to refocus their minds and attention to what we do in the Gilas team,” Guiao said.
“So that’s going to take a few days din, siyempre. Lalo na kung either nag-champion ka or hindi, there’s going to be some emotional toll on you. When you get back here, you’re going to need some physical and mental break.”
The heated best-of-seven series currently has San Miguel ahead, 3-2, and the Beermen could finish the TNT KaTropa in Game Six this Friday, August 16. Otherwise, Game Seven will be played on Sunday, August 18.
So for Guiao, he hopes that the three won’t take long to recover from the Finals. Fajardo, Rosario, and Pogoy will have a lot of catching up to do, as they will only have less than two weeks left to practice with Gilas before the World Cup.
“I hope it’s a short period. I hope hindi sila masyadong matagalan sa adjustment nila,” he said.
“We’re just hoping na in a short time, maka-adjust sila agad, makapag pahinga sila agad – maka-recover sila agad from the Finals.”
Until now, Guiao has not yet set the final lineup of the Filipino dribblers’ final lineup for the global basketball spectacle in China, which starts on August 31. But Guiao said that Fajardo, Rosario, and Pogoy all have slots in the 12-man lineup.
Still, the problem remains: Guiao integrating them with the players who have already built cohesion among one another.
“More or less, they have slots. They’re shoo-ins. My problem is not making the decision on whether they’re in or not. My problem is trying to jell them with only a week to go after that,” Guiao said.
“That’s really the problem.”