Gilas Pilipinas has been preparing for the 2019 FIBA World Cup for about five weeks now.
But since they are practicing just twice a week, they only have a grand total of nine sessions — one session got called off. Those meetings consisted of eight-team practices and one tune-up game against Mighty Sports-Philippines.
For national team head coach Yeng Guiao, twice-a-week practices for a national team are not enough.
The outspoken mentor said so Thursday evening, after their eighth practice. Though he expressed satisfaction with the attendance of 13 players, Guiao did not like how some of the players have forgotten about their plays.
“Medyo nararamdaman na namin yung pressure to get the team together with the players getting to know our patterns by heart kasi nagkakaproblema kami … what we practice Monday we start over again Thursday kasi nakakalimutan,” he lamented.
“Masyadong madalang yung twice-a-week for such a big responsibility of representing the country sa World Cup.”
Guiao understands that the players’ focus isn’t fully put on Gilas chores as of now, as most of them are also gearing up for the upcoming 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals that commence this weekend.
“Alam ko yung focus ng mga players nasa playoffs pa, nasa mother teams pa nila so it’s really difficult getting them to focus on the job at hand,” said Guiao, who’s also the chief bench strategist of the NLEX Road Warriors.
Still, the problem remains — twice-a-week sessions are inadequate. So now, the seasoned tactician is looking to sit down with the PBA anew and seek two more days of practice in a week so that they could address this issue.
“We’ll talk about it,” he said.
“I’ll try to get at least two more days of practices kung kaya pa for now.”
For now, though, Guiao is looking at the teams who might get eliminated early in the Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals, as they will require the national team players to attend practices just so they could prepare as best as they can.
The players who are fully committed to Gilas as of now are Phoenix Pulse’s Matthew Wright, Columbian Dyip rookie CJ Perez, and the NLEX tandem of Poy Erram and Kiefer Ravena as their teams have been out of contention already.
“We will see by next week kung sino yung mga teams na nabakante na, oobligahin na namin yung mga players na dumating para din malaman if we need volunteer practice players. We’ll also think about it.”
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