Gilas Pilipinas’ lack of observe time collectively shouldn’t be misplaced on Justin Brownlee, the naturalized Filipino who probably will carry the brunt of the Philippines’ bid to reclaim the Southeast Asian (SEA) Video games basketball gold subsequent month in Cambodia.
However ever the optimist, Brownlee is preserving his head up.
“That’s a troublesome one,” he informed the Inquirer when requested in regards to the nationwide staff’s struggles with preparation. “However you already know, lots of guys who may very well be enjoying for the staff have been enjoying or [were] in-season.”
“So hopefully, everyone is in good condition,” he added.
Knocked off a perch it sat on for 33 lengthy years, the Philippines’ males’s basketball staff is seeking to show that final yr’s 85-81 loss to Indonesia within the finalé in Hanoi, Vietnam, was nothing however a fluke.
However the optics haven’t been matching for Gilas as of late. Coaching camp has been hampered by manpower scarcity as most of the names tapped for the herculean activity within the Cambodian capital have been fulfilling membership duties within the Philippine Basketball Affiliation (PBA).
It additionally doesn’t assist that Gilas’ tormentors are those wanting like a determined bunch. Indonesia is reportedly coming again residence from a nine-game stretch of friendlies in opposition to professional golf equipment in Australia, piloting newly naturalized participant Anthony Beane, Jr. and now-fit Lester Prosper.
Brownlee is conscious of all that, and even did his homework “watching highlights of the loss.” However an enormous a part of his positivity comes from the truth that many within the Gilas 28-man pool have been enjoying alongside and in opposition to one another.
Becoming a member of Brownlee within the choice are his teammates at Ginebra: Christian Standhardinger, Stanley Pringle, Japeth Aguilar, Scottie Thompson, Jamie Malonzo and Jeremiah Grey.
June Mar Fajardo, CJ Perez, Calvin Oftana, Kevin Quiambao, and Mason Amos have additionally had expertise enjoying alongside Brownlee.
Different names within the huge pool are Chris Ross, Marcio Lassiter, Schonny Winston, Raymond Almazan, Aaron Black, Chris Newsome and Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser, who’ve been constant attendees of the camp.
After which there’s Mikey Williams, the PBA’s scoring champion who has battled it out in opposition to Brownlee within the latest Governors’ Cup championship sequence.
With most Gilas recruits wholesome, the brief prep time collectively shouldn’t pose a lot of an issue, based on Brownlee. As issues stand, solely TNT sharpshooter Roger Pogoy has been dominated out for the showcase in Phnom Penh scheduled to run from Might 9 to 16.
“That’s the most important factor,” Brownlee identified. “With everyone in form and chemistry in place, I feel we’ll be OK.”
Gilas is reportedly bracketed with Malaysia, Vietnam and Myanmar in Group B, that means the Philippines may have a comparatively straightforward route going into the knockout stage.
However issues have gotten harder for the Philippines in a regional meet that was once a certain gold. Apart from settling for the silver final day trip, Gilas additionally had an in depth shave in opposition to Thailand, which fell wanting gorgeous the Philippines, 76-73.
“We all know it’s not going to be straightforward. However no matter highway we’re going to take, I do know everybody’s keen to take it and go all out,” he mentioned.
“I hope that stress can be on the entire staff,” he went on with a nervous chuckle. “However the staff’s strategy is to simply do no matter we will to win that gold again.”
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