|Yeng Guiao will use the showdown against Jordan to put Gilas back in game shape. Nina Carezon (file photo)|
By Ivan Saldajeno
PASIG--Based on how they fare during their practices, the members Gilas Pilipinas pool for the fifth window of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers seem to be in tiptop shape.
But for Head Coach Yeng Guiao, just being in good shape is not enough.
"I know they're still in good shape coming from the last conference, but they haven't really played competitive basketball the past week," Guiao said after Sunday practice at the Meralco Gym.
That is why he will make the most out of a Monday night tune-up against Jordan to put Gilas back in game mode.
"The goal is to be able to get them into game shape," Guiao said on his goal for the said match, the first of a four-friendly series that will run through the week which will highlight the national team's daily grind.
And he thinks Jordan is the best fit to bring Gilas back to its feet.
"Jordan is a strong team, so that would be a good test for us," Guiao further said. "This is an important test for us in terms of getting ourselves--our bodies and minds--into game shape."
However, while the Ginebra quartet of Japeth Aguilar, Greg Slaughter, LA Tenorio, and Scottie Thompson, NorthPort combo guard Stanley Pringle, and Magnolia combo guard Paul Lee finally attended the training session on Sunday night, they are not expected to be part of the Gilas squad that will face Jordan the night after.
"I don't think one day of practice is going to be good enough for them to get into the system," Guiao explained why he will sit out the six aforementioned players, although they will participate in the morning shootaround earlier Monday.
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