Gilas coach Yeng Guiao expressed their start of planning and setting the timeline of training after the World Cup drawing of lots to ascertain the groupings of the 32 competing teams. The draw is set March 16 in Shenzhen, China and the world competition on Aug. 30 to Sept. 15.
Guiao felt it was a bit unfortunate his desire for Gilas to play in the Jones’ Cup won’t be granted as well as their yearning for Andray Blatche to be allowed to play as an import for the upcoming PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
“I don’t want the PBA sacrificing to the point of losing almost a conference or losing the purpose for which the 12 PBA teams were organized which is to provide year-round entertainment for the public,” said Guiao who expressed other options be made open. “We must strike a balance where we can serve the World Cup and at the same time not disrupt the PBA schedule too much. They’ve sacrificed too much as it is.”.
“The issue is how do we keep Blatche in good physical shape. My worry is after his China commitments, Andray is going back to the US, and for how long, we don’t know. The problem when he’s not competing, there’s the chance he would go out of shape,” sighed Guiao.
“A good option is to get him early, and we compete in games close to the level of the World Cup,” Guiao further replied.
He said the Jones’ Cup should have been a good training tourney. As an alternative, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas could arrange a isolated tourneys or friendly matches versus teams from another World Cup groupings.
“The Jones Cup level of competition is high as it’s really a competition. The problem with a pocket tourney is that you don’t feel the pressure that is close to the pressure that you feel in the World Cup. There’s mind-conditioning when you play under pressure. We have to derive that from other sources,” said Guiao adding that they have enough time to plan.