As "pressure" mounts, Guiao thinks of more Gilas practices per week

Coach Yeng Guiao is proposing more than two Gilas practices per week—maybe going daily sooner too. Rick Dela Cruz (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG–Coach Yeng Guiao admitted that the fact that the PBA Commissioner's Cup is now in the playoff stages is starting to take a toll on the Gilas Pilipinas Men practices.

While he is aware of the situation especially that most of the players in the national team pool that he formed for the FIBA World Cup will play in the quarterfinals starting on Saturday night, the mere fact that their focus is now on the playoffs has already affected how they practice together for Gilas Men.

"Nagkakaproblema kami. If we have twice-a-week practice, what we practice [on] Monday, we start all over again on a Thursday kasi nakakalimutan," Guiao said after the national team practice on Thursday night at the Meralco Gym.

It was evident during the training session as the players—even those who played for Guiao before—still got confused at what to do during the five-on-five drills.

"Nararamdaman na namin yung pressure to get the team together with the players getting to know our patterns by heart," Guiao continued. "It's really difficult getting them to focus on the job at hand."

With that said, he thinks that only having two Gilas practices per week is not anymore enough.

"We're going to need more than twice a week to be able to make the players run the system by heart and instinctively," Guiao further said.

He even said that he is looking at possibly starting the daily Gilas grind sooner than expected.

Guiao initially set the start of the daily practices in early August, but with how he assessed the team's practices, moving it earlier is not anymore a far-fetched idea.

"We'll talk about it," he further said.

He is also looking at possibly mandating the teams who would get knocked out in the quarterfinals to release their Gilas pool members as soon as possible.

"We'll see by next week kung sino yung mga teams na nabakante na. Obligahin na namin ang mga players na dumating," Guiao added.

He also said that he is open to bring players who volunteered their help to the national team into the practices.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno