They may no longer be together in one team now but coach Yeng Guiao and Gabe Norwood agree that Gilas Pilipinas has a better chance of winning the FIBA Asia Cup gold this year.
Guiao and Norwood, who both served the national team in the past, both like Gilas’ chances this year expecially with June Mar Fajardo and Japeth Aguilar expected to reinforce the squad.
The two big men missed Gilas Pilipinas’ campaign in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship. But despite their absence, the Filipinos still bagged the silver medal.
“I don’t think there’s anybody who would say hindi maganda yung nangyari,” Guiao told InterAksyon.
“Nadadagdag na natin ngayon yung mga top players natin. Also, we will know how we will measure up pagdating sa international level. Kasi kung hindi ko sila palalaruin hindi mo makikita. Parang mag-iisip ka parati kung yung best team natin ang ipinadala hanggang saan kami aabot? That’s also a measure of our development as a basketball country.”
For his part, Norwood, who is included in the 24-man preliminary lineup for the FIBA Asia Cup, shared the same sentiments as he expects Gilas Pilipinas to come out in full force for the tournament.
“The timing is right. Andray (Blatche) is in better condition and if he can team up with June Mar, Japeth and some of the young guys in time for FIBA Asia, our chances of winning the gold is better,” Norwood said.