Adelaide coach Joey Wright impressed with Gilas' Pogoy, Lee, Aguilar, Ravena

Coach Joey Wright was impressed the most at Japeth Aguilar. Nikki Collantes (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG—Gilas Pilipinas Men used a two-game friendly series against Australian league outfit Adelaide 36ers to gauge how they are ready now for the FIBA World Cup.

But for Adelaide coach Joey Wright, four locals may be too eager to play in the international tournament already.

Wright cannot help but praise the performances of RR Pogoy, Paul Lee, Japeth Aguilar, and Kiefer Ravena during the series over the weekend at the Meralco Gym.

"Pogoy and Lee are very good shooters," Wright, who once played in the PBA as an import for the fabled Presto franchise, told reporters after the second game of the Gilas-36ers series on Sunday night.

Pogoy, despite being "late to the party" due to his stint in the Commissioner's Cup Finals for TNT, sparked Gilas Men's endgame rally to edge Adelaide in their first meeting on Friday night.

[Related Story: Gilas Men pull late rally to beat Adelaide in tuneup]

Lee played well in that game too, scoring 10 points, the same as Pogoy.

About Ravena, who played for the first time after an 18-month ban by FIBA, Wright said, "He's extremely smart. He can shoot the ball very well."

Albeit in a losing effort, Ravena posted decent numbers of 11 points, two rebounds, and one steal off the bench.

But the biggest laud from Wright went to Aguilar, and that is despite him only finishing with two points, three rebounds, two assists, one steal, and a minus-11.

"I like [Aguilar]. He runs around the basket. He's very active around the basket," Wright said of Aguilar.

Wright then thinks these four, along with naturalized center Andray Blatche, will be key players for Gilas Men in the FIBA worlds starting on Saturday.

"They will need those guys to shoot the ball at a high clip to make them go deep in the World Cup," Wright further said.

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