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Guiao seeks better conditioning for Blatche, better chemistry for Gilas

MANILA, Philippines – The FIBA World Cup is just around the corner, and Yeng Guiao is looking to ramp up preparations for Gilas Pilipinas and naturalized player Andray Blatche. Guiao said that Blatche will begin training daily with PBA team NLEX, while the national team will start practicing daily ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 22nd, 2019

FIBA: No questions about Andray Blatche’s fitness for World Cup

As always, Andray Blatche will play a big role for Gilas Pilipinas for an upcoming FIBA tournament, this time being the 2019 World Cup in China. As always, his overall fitness will dictate just how well he’ll play. Finally in Manila, Blatche has had a week’s worth of practice with the national team. Andray is moving well and everything, but it’s quite obvious that he’s not at peak condition just yet. However, the national team is not worried about that too much. Blatche has a good six weeks of straight training to get himself in top shape. “Of course we still need to get him into game shape,” head coach Yeng Guiao said of Blatche. “But he’s been doing extra work. He’s actually been practicing by himself and also trying to get extra practice time with Rain or Shine and sa Monday, sa NLEX. There’s plenty of time to get him in shape,” he added. Blatche’s arrival has also added a big boost to Gilas’ regular practices. As a longtime member of the national team, Blatche has turned into one of the most crucial pillars for Gilas and his presence has been nothing but positive. “Wala naman siyang problem sa integration, because he’s been here and he knows 90 percent of the players,” Guiao said of Blatche. “There’s no problem with chemistry or attitude. They all get along together,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 19th, 2019

NEXT IN LINE? Yeng Guiao sees Kiefer Ravena as a successor to elite Filipino point guards

The Philippine Men’s National Basketball Program has seen a number of elite playmakers during its time, and in recent memory and in recent memory, the likes of Jimmy Alapag and Jayson Castro are top of mind. Alapag helped lead the Philippines to their first FIBA World Cup berth in 2014, and starred in a number of big-time moments for the tri-colors Like Alapag, Castro has also excelled in international play and is widely regarded as Asia’s Best Point Guard. But as the Philippines gears up for another FIBA World Cup appearance this year, the program has seemingly lost the services of their chief playmaker, with Castro begging off from National Team duty to focus on his family. With the 2019 FIBA World Cup just around the corner, Gilas is now searching for their next floor general, and while Castro and his presence is undeniably irreplaceable, head coach Yeng Guiao believes that there is enough new blood that can help fill the void. “Wide open yan talaga, they have to earn that spot,” Guiao told ABS-CBN Sports, referring to Gilas' starting point guard spot.  While there is indeed a talented crop of point guards in the Philippines, Guiao has pinpointed Kiefer Ravena as a strong candidate, but maintains that it is still something that he needs to earn. “Although of course, Kiefer is a high likelihood that he’s going to be in the regular team, earning the number one spot is a different case. He has to fight it out with Paul, with Mark Barocca, even with the new guys, hindi natin alam kung ano ipapakita niyan.” Ravena rejoined National Team practice Monday evening after sitting out for nearly a year and a half due to a FIBA-imposed suspension. The suspension will be lifted on August 24th, a week before the start of the FIBA tournament. Guiao is confident that Ravena and the other Gilas hopefuls can step into the role that Castro has given up. “Tapos na ng suspension niya by August 24 eh, so ang calculation ko is yung spot ni Jayson, as much as we will miss him, as much as he has contributed a lot to the cause of the National Team, these are able guys, Kiefer particularly, who will show their true worth in the absence of Jayson. Kahit na malaki yung void na naiwan, I think these young guards coming in, especially Kiefer, are going to be able to fill it out.” The veteran mentor even believes that Ravena has what it takes to follow in the footsteps of other elite Filipino point guards such as Alapag, Castro and the ones that have come before. “For sure. I have no doubt, he is going to be the successor to those guys.” “Number one, he is smart. He has a very high basketball IQ. Number two, he has leadership qualities, yung nakikinig sa kanya yung mga kasama niya, as young as he is, he is relatively young, nakikinig sa kanya pati yung mga beterano. Number three, he has the physical tools,” Guiao explained. “I would have wanted him to be two or three inches taller, pero kahit na hindi, I think he has the tools to play that position as well, and I think he is as big or a littler taller than Jayson, so wala tayong problema sa physical tools niya.“ Apart from missing Ravena’s services in the National Team, Guiao has also missed the former UAAP champion and MVP’s services in the professional ranks with the NLEX Road Warriors. Having Ravena back on the floor, even just for practice for now, Guiao says, is definitely a welcome sight. “I saw him play, this is what we’re missing in NLEX. This is what we’re missing in the National Team. He could have played side-by-side with Jayson actually kung available siya. Nung nakita ko siya now, after not playing for one-and-a-half years, and he’s still this good, can you imagine kung naka-laro lang siya? Gumaling pa sana siya.” Ravena will be back with NLEX for the PBA's third conference, the Governor's Cup later this year. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 25th, 2019

Kiefer Ravena’s return highlights Gilas’ ‘best practice so far’

The Philippine Men’s Senior National Basketball team continued their preparations for the upcoming 2019 FIBA World Cup in China this August with another training session, Monday evening at the Meralco Gym in Ortigas. While the highlight of the scrimmage was the return of playmaker Kiefer Ravena, who has been serving an 18-month suspension handed down by FIBA back in 2018, another positive was the number of players who participated in the practice. A total of 13 players were present in practice, and National Team head coach Yeng Guiao was happy to see enough bodies to be able to hold a proper 5-on-5 run. “We had enough people to go 5-on-5, this is our first complete actually, it’s our best practice so far,” Guiao told the media during a post-practice scrum. National Team vets such as Paul Lee, RR Pogoy, Marcio Lassiter, June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, Poy Erram, and Mark Barroca were on hand to participate in the drills and the 5-on-5 scrimmage, while Raymond Almazan was also in attendance but did not join the practice proper. Apart from Ravena, other new faces for this training camp included PBA rookies Robert Bolick and CJ Perez, and Guiao was delighted to see them come out. “We’re very very appreciative of the guys who came in, si CJ atsaka si Robert, and of course, Kiefer,” the long-time mentor said. “For the first time, he’s able to practice and witness kayo, for the first time after more than one year and six months. Siguro part of the excitement why we had a really good practice today, we’re just excited to play with each other.” Guiao explained that Bolick and Perez, former NCAA stars, were invited because of their initiative to try their luck with the National Team pool. “Actually, in the case of Robert and CJ, sila yung nag-initiate na makapag-practice sila, that’s why we invited them, so nagparamdam sila na gusto nilang mag-try ng luck nila to be in the to be in the pool.” As for Ravena, Guiao was pleased to see that his NLEX playmaker was in tip-top shape, even after the time off. “Si Kiefer, nakakausap ko naman yun, so he’s really excited to be part of the National Team, at least pool, although sabi ko naman his chances of making it are really good,” Guiao stated. “You saw him in practice today, it’s just like he did not miss the last, or he was not suspended, for the last one and a half years. His sharpness is there, his stamina is there, he does not look like he’s heavy, that’s his natural body, so things are looking good at this point.” Guiao also expressed his appreciation for Stanley Pringle, who joined the practice. Pringle and the Gin Kings took on Guiao’s NLEX Road Warriors in Batangas the night before Gilas practice. “Si Stanley, again, he’s one of the guys that volunteered himself, just in case we need an extra body. Galing yan sa Batangas, kalaban namin kahapon, so he’s just offering his services just so we have people who can play roles in practices so mas maganda yung practice natin.” Being designated as a naturalized citizen by FIBA, The newly-acquired Ginebra Gin King is unlikely to crack the lineup with big man Andray Blatche expected to suit up for the National Team. Guiao is, however, looking to add Pringle to the training pool for their training camp in Spain this August. “I’m also thinking of bringing Stanley to Spain, if Ginebra is not playing in the Finals, kasi may dalawang team na maglalaro ng Finals, siguradong may member ng National Team, so when we go to Spain, we can only take the players of the ten teams that are not involved, so may mawawala talaga, so kailangan pag-isipan kung sino ang isasama.” The 2019 FIBA World Cup kicks off on August 31st in China, with the Philippines joining Angola, Italy, and Serbia in Group D. Guiao hopes to be able to release a final lineup by next month. “Pag-dating ni Blatche, I think July 8, siguro by July 15 mayroon nang final lineup.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 24th, 2019

Still no Fajardo, Pogoy, and Rosario in Gilas practice

After a one-day break, Gilas Pilipinas went right back to work, Monday inside the Meralco Gym in Ortigas. The usual suspects were back in action for the Philippine national basketball team with Andray Blatche leading a 12-man strong training session as a little less than two weeks remain before the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Alongside Blatche were Japeth Aguilar, Raymond Almazan, Mark Barroca, Beau Belga, Robert Bolick, Poy Erram, Paul Lee, Gabe Norwood, CJ Perez, Kiefer Ravena, and Matthew Wright. Still missing, however, were San Miguel Beer’s June Mar Fajardo and TNT's RR Pogoy and Troy Rosario who had just concluded their Finals showdown in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup three days ago. The three, though, are widely assumed to finally practice with Gilas on Tuesday. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News16 hr. 58 min. ago

Gilas still waiting on Fajardo, Pogoy, Rosario to come in a day or two

All of June Mar Fajardo, RR Pogoy, and Troy Rosario were expected at Gilas Pilipinas' practice, Monday inside the Meralco Gym in Ortigas. All three, however, were not in action as the Philippine national basketball team went on a three-hour training session with less than two weeks before the 2019 FIBA World Cup. "Actually, I thought they were coming today, pero wala pa rin," head coach Yeng Guiao told reporters. "We were trying to get in touch with them, trying to confirm, but so far, wala pang confirmation." Fajardo is fresh off winning a championship for San Miguel while Pogoy and Rosario were key cogs in TNT's runner-up finish last Friday. "Baka pagod pa sila, pero siguro, bukas, nandito na yung mga yun," the Gilas mentor shared. According to team manager Gabby Cui, Pogoy and Rosario will be in attendance for the next practice on Tuesday. Fajardo, meanwhile, remains a question mark as the Beermen are set for a championship celebration on the same day. Still, coach Yeng said they're giving all of them the benefit of the doubt. "Sayang yung araw, nanghihinayang din ako kaya lang, 'di natin sila mapupwersa o mapipilit. Alam din nating galing sila sa Finals so they know how they feel, what their bodies requires," he said. He then continued, "We're giving them the benefit of the doubt." Nonetheless, the Philippine national basketball team remains hopeful it can be at full strength within the week. As their tactician put it, "We'll wait for them one or two more days, pero pag 'di sila dumating, kailangang magdesisyon na rin tayo." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News16 hr. 58 min. ago

Yeng Guiao says building cohesion top priority

With the FIBA Basketball World Cup just two weeks away, Gilas Pilipinas is stepping up on its preparations, putting in extra hours for shooting drills and video watching and fine-tuning things with a pair of tune-ups against Aussie club Adelaide 36ers......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 16th, 2019

Longer, harder practices for Gilas beginning next week

With just a little over two weeks to go before the 2019 FIBA World Cup, Gilas Pilipinas is all set to enter its final phase of preparations. Just two days removed from landing in Manila from a training camp in Spain, the Philippine national team was in practice for the second straight time inside the Meralco Gym in Ortigas on Thursday. And still, head coach Yeng Guiao was nothing but satisfied with their preparations. "Okay naman. At least, we have 11 or 12 guys coming in already and we're still waiting for the three guys playing in the Finals," he told reporters. Indeed, 12 of the 15-man pool were present in the latest training session - and only June Mar Fajardo, RR Pogoy, and Troy Rosario were missing as all of them still had business to take care of in the ongoing 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals. Whatever happens in the PBA Finals, whether San Miguel wraps up the championship on Friday or TNT forces a winner-take-all Game 7 on Sunday, coach Yeng said Gilas' daily practices will continue. And starting next week, they will be undergoing longer and harder training sessions. "We're just going to wind up this week with regular practices, but next week, meron na kaming extra hour for the shooting drills and another extra hour for video watching every other day siguro," the fiery mentor shared. He then continued, "We're going to add more hours next week so were hoping by that time, ready na rin yung tatlo na galing sa Finals." Along with the extra work starting next week, Gilas is also looking forward to a two-game series against Australian club Adelaide 36ers. "We're hoping to see some improvement once we play the Australian team. After that, final adjustments na lang," coach Yeng said......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 15th, 2019

Bolick in the running for Gilas spot in FIBA World Cup after Spain exploits

MANILA, Philippines – Robert Bolick was a revelation for Gilas Pilipinas in its training camp in Spain, and his effort and tenacity definitely did not go unnoticed by head coach Yeng Guiao. Guiao bared Bolick is "in the running" to secure a spot in the final lineup for the FIBA ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsAug 11th, 2019

FIBA: Gilas pounds on Ivory Coast to end Spain camp

Gilas Pilipinas wraps up their Spanish trip stint on a high note in Malaga. The Philippines repeated over Ivory Coast early Sunday morning, scoring a 73-63 win in the Torneo de Malaga. A day after struggling in a loss against Congo, Gilas rebounded with a victory against a World Cup team, finishing its Spain training camp with a 3-1 record in total games played. Robert Bolick continued his impressive camp and led Gilas in scoring with 18 points. Meanwhile, Andray Blatche had a solid bounce back effort, finishing with 18 points, 18 rebounds, four assists, and three steals in the win. Despite missing out on the chance to play Spain, Gilas’ training camp should still be considered a success considering they only played with eight players during all four games. The national team is back in Manila by August 13. — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 11th, 2019

FIBA: Gilas falls to Congo, misses out on chance to play Spain

Gilas Pilipinas falls in Malaga. The Philippines dropped a 71-82 decision to Congo early Saturday morning in the Torneo de Malaga, the team’s first loss in its Spain training camp in preparation for the 2019 FIBA World Cup. It was a close game throughout but Gilas fell apart in the fourth quarter, allowing Congo to pull away for the victory. With the loss, the Philippines missed out on the chance of possibly facing the powerful Spanish national team in the mini tournament. Robert Bolick led the way in scoring, finishing with 21 points while Andray Blatche added 15. The national team played with only eight players as Gabe Norwood has a slight injury and Kiefer Ravena remains suspended. Gilas previoulsy beat Congo in this Spain camp, scoring a 102-80 win in Guadalajara earlier this week.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 10th, 2019

FIBA: Blatche near triple-double leads Gilas past Ivory Coast

Gilas Pilipinas makes it two in a row in Guadalajara. The Philippines scored another international friendly win, this time against Ivory Coast, 94-83, early Thursday morning, PHL time. Gilas played Ivory Coast in Spain as part of the national team’s training camp for the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Andray Blatche flirted with a triple-double and dropped 18 points, 10 assists, and seven rebounds to lead Gilas in the victory. Paul Lee was the top local this time with 16 points. Gilas had trouble with the size of Ivory Coast early but a strong second-half effort allowed the Philippines to take the win. Up next for Gilas now is a pocket tournament in Madrid as they once again face Congo. Winner gets a chance to face the Spain-Ivory Coast victor. — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 8th, 2019

Yeng Guiao treating Duterte s Gilas remarks as a ‘challenge’

Gilas Pilipinas head coach Yeng Guiao isn't too concerned with President Duterte's comments on the team's chances in the 2019 FIBA World Cup......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 7th, 2019

FIBA: Blatche guarantees peak condition after Spain camp

Gilas Pilipinas is headed to Spain for its longest and most important training camp ahead of the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Naturalized center Andray Blatche has guaranteed that by the time the national team is back from Europe, he’s ready to rock for the World Championships in China. We can qoute him on that. “I’m quite sure about time I get back from Spain, I’m 100 percent ready,” Blatche said in a rare interview since he’s been back in Manila to prepare for the World Cup. In Spain, Gilas is lined up to face Congo, Ivory Coast, and possibly even the Spanish national team will all their top players. There, Blatche says he and Gilas can certainly get a lot of things done. “Me personally, I’m working on conditioning, running fourth quarter and playing defense. Our offense is going to come for this team. It’s more about defense for us,” Blatche said. “This is a great group of guys we got here. I’m excited about going to Spain and having a real training camp,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 3rd, 2019

Andray Blatche leads Gilas trip to Spain

Gilas Pilipinas leaves for Spain today to rev up its preparations for the FIBA World Cup with a 10-day training camp and a few games there......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 3rd, 2019

FIBA: Wright ready to step up for Gilas after unfortunate Marcio injury

With star shooter Marcio Lassiter suffering an unfortunate knee injury, Gilas Pilipinas’ preparations for the 2019 FIBA World Cup have taken a huge hit. Gilas is hoping to still get Marcio for the World Cup but if Lassiter can’t make it, other members of the national team will have to step up. Everyone, including head coach Yeng Guiao, has Matthew Wright in mind. “It’s a big loss [Lassiter injury], but we’ll find ways to make up for it. Matthew Wright is there, the rest of the team is there so we’ll find ways for everyone to step up,” Guiao said. For his part, Wright sees this as a new opportunity to rise up for the national team. Lassiter’s injury was an unfortunate development but it is what it is. Someone will have to step up in his place for now. “Some people could say it’s an added pressure [Marcio injury] but I don’t think so. I’m still gonna go into the tournament preparing the way I’ve been preparing. You always come in training like you’re gonna be playing for 40 minutes no matter what, that’s not gonna change my motivation,” Wright said. “If anything, it’s more motivation for me, it’s a chance to rise to the challenge, succeed and help Gilas, have a good tournament,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 26th, 2019

10 players in attendance, nine in action for Gilas Pilipinas practice

Andray Blatche was in attendance for his third practice with Gilas Pilipinas, Monday inside Meralco Gym in Ortigas. The naturalized center was, in fact, one of the earlybirds in the Philippine national team’s training session with just a little over a month to go before the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Blatche was joined by Mark Barroca, Beau Belga, Poy Eram, Paul Lee, Gabe Norwood, CJ Perez, Kiefer Ravena, and Matthew Wright. June Mar Fajardo was also present, but just sat on the sidelines in street clothes......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 22nd, 2019

Daily practices for Gilas Pilipinas coming soon

Gilas Pilipinas head coach Yeng Guiao himself admitted that, at present, complete attendance for practices is easier said than done. “I can’t blame them. I know they have responsibilities with their mother clubs,” he said after the Philippine national team’s training session, Monday inside Meralco Gym in Ortigas. “Mahirap talagang maghati ng attention especially at this crucial stage. We’ll just have to manage whatever opportunities we have.” This, after only 10 players were in attendance and nine were in action in the latest practice with just a little over a month to go before the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Of course, the likes of Japeth Aguilar, Robert Bolick, Marcio Lassiter, RR Pogoy, Stanley Pringle, Troy Rosario, and Christian Standhardinger were not present as they had just come off their respective quarterfinals matchups a day ago. “Of course, they cannot focus a hundred percent on what we’re doing because it’s the crucial phase of the playoffs,” Coach Yeng said. In his eyes, though, many players’ schedules with their mother teams would free up sooner than later - meaning Gilas would also have more warm bodies for practices. As he put it, “We’re just waiting until the other guys get freed up and (can) focus on our practices.” He then continued, “Of course, we don’t want them to lose kaya lang, kapag na-out sila, pwede na sila mag-focus dito. Later this week, the PBA Commissioner’s Cup is headed to its semifinals - meaning only four squads would remain. With that, the national team is eyeing holding daily training sessions. “Next week, we’ll practice every day. 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. na tayo Monday to Friday,” their fiery mentor said. Coach Yeng then furthered that when that time comes, the national team already has an understanding with the PBA. “We have an understanding that as soon as players are vacant and their mother teams are no longer playing, we have full control of the players,” he shared. Without a doubt, the Filipinos are gearing up to go full throttle in their preparations for the world meet in Spain in August. —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 22nd, 2019

FIBA: Gilas feeling the pressure of limited prep for World Cup

With a little over six weeks away from its first game in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, Gilas Pilipinas is starting to feel the pressure of its limited preparation. Currently, the national team’s set up is to practice twice in one week, once during Mondays and another Thursdays. Gilas has been living with that but they know it’s not enough. Now, they’re truly feeling that that’s not quite enough. “That’s the urgency right now, masyadong madalang yung twice a week [practice] for such a big responsibility like representing the country sa World Cup,” head coach Yeng Guiao said. “We’re trying to get at least two more days of practice kung kaya,” he added. Guiao is generally happy with the way the national team has been practicing. But for Gilas to truly nake the most out of its sessions and hammer things home, more time is needed. With the PBA season still ongoing, in particular the Commissioner’s Cup playoffs starting this week, national team players can’t quite go all in on Gilas just yet. Most of the players in the Gilas pool will compete for the Commissioner’s Cup title. “There’s always a divided focus in the minds of the players,” Guiao said. “Request namin best-of-3 na lang yung championship. Anyway, to me it’s becoming urgent kasi we keep going back. Yung prinactice namin nung Monday, pagdating ng Thursday halos nakalimutan na tapos uumpisahan mo na naman,” coach Yeng added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 18th, 2019

Hoping for a miracle, Guiao includes Jordan in Gilas pool

Guiao said he included Clarkson in the pool in case FIBA rules him eligible to suit up as a local or fill the naturalized player slot in case Andray Blatche suffers an injury before the Group F opener against Italy on Aug. 31 opener in Foshan, China......»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsJul 17th, 2019