MANILA, Philippines – The FIBA Asia Cup in Wuhan, China will serve as a run-through for first-time national team members Jay Washington, Paul Lee and Beau Belga.
Coach Chot Reyes said he’d like to see how the three players, who have been included in the Gilas Pilipinas roster for the Wuhan tournament, will be able to adjust to the demands of international competition.
The FIBA Asia Cup will begin on Friday.
Washington of GlobalPort and Lee of Rain or Shine are among the latest additions to the Gilas training pool for the FIBA Basketball World Cup. Belga, who is also from Rain or Shine, was already part of the training pool since last year, but did not make the cut for the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship.
Reyes said he wants the three players to get used to the rhythm of international competition, which is said to very different from the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
“In the PBA, we have one, two days’ rest. Sa international wala eh. It's almost like a do-or-die game every night,’ cited the Gilas coach.
“So you have to get used to the rhythm hindi lang sa games. Pagkagising sa umaga you have to shoot around, kasi ‘yun ang ipapractice mo sa day na ‘yun sa kalaban. You don’t have an extra day to practice. Kunwari naglaro ka ngayon, bukas iba naman kalaban mo bukas ng gabi. So in the morning you have to wake up, shoot around have lunch, rest and then play. And then next day, shoot around… ganun na naman,” explained Reyes.
He added that the games will be also very different from the professional league, noting that sometimes they go through a quarter without timeouts.
“Sa PBA pwede tayong magrelax-relax ng three, four, five minutes and then at the sixth minute mark there's a time out. Sa international walang ganun. From the first minute bakbakan na ‘yun… It's very hard it's very quick. You'll never know if you'll get a full quarter without a time out,” said Reyes. “’Yun ang gusto kong makita how JWash, Paul and Beau react to those situations.”
Reyes added that he has yet to see how the three players will mesh with the rest of the veteran Gilas squad.
“I want to see how they will react with their team mates. We've never had those three with these guys,” Reyes said.