The new-look Gilas Pilipinas led by Jordan Clarkson are set to face the Great Wall of China at 4:45 PM (Philippine time) in Basketball Hall of the Gelora Bung Karno Complex, Indonesia.
This match might be the preview of the gold medal game as expected by most of the Filipino basketball enthusiasts.
Although mostly they shoot bricks in their match against team Kazakhastan five days ago still Gilas able to pull a win, 96-59. That forgettable performance should improve in order to topple the giants of Asian basketball.
“It’s going to be totally different. The game plan against Kazakhstan was to disrupt its offense and prepare for its three-point shooting,” said Guiao.
“Against China, you cannot trap them because their offense is concentrated more inside anchored on their big players. We have to play man-to-man most of the time dahil kapag ‘yung malalaki nila nakatanggap na, they will be difficult to stop,” he added.
For some, the big names in Chinese roster would be Zhou Qi and Ding Yanyuang but according to chief scout Ryan Gregorio team China there are four players to watch out.
These other two are Abudushalamu Abudurexiti and Wang Zhelin.
Zhou Qi and Ding Yanyuang are already part of an NBA team. Zhou is with the Houston Rockets while Ding signed with the Dallas Mavericks.
This 2018 NBA Summer League Abudushalamu Abudurexiti had played with the Golden State Warriors and even had a pre-draft workout with several NBA teams.
“Abudushalamu has the body of a power forward with the quickness of a guard. Zhou Qi is a 7’11” NBA player. He’s tall and quick. He has a range that can extend to the 3-point range. He has great anticipation skills on defense. Wang Zhelin is a seven-foot center. He is quick on his feet and has a polished inside move. He is hard to stop inside the paint. Ding Yanyuan: NBA player. Small Forward. Quick and strong. Has long range,” Gregorio said in his scouting report.
If the height advantage is with the Philippines’ opponent, Gilas will counter it with their speed.
“We are banking on our quickness. We lack the height and length but we can compensate with our quickness and intelligence,” said Gregorio.
“I think he’s a class of his own in this Asian Games,” said coach Yeng Guiao. “Wala pa akong nakita. I’ve watched Korea, China, Japan, Iran. I don’nt think skills-wise may tatapat sa kanya. Nadagdagan ‘yung quickness natin nu’ng dumating si Clarkson. Clarkson’s mentality is he can control the game just by his decision-making, not to mention his skills and physical abilities.”
The head coach of NLEX Road Warriors also observed that apart from his scoring abilities, Clarkson also know how to utilize his teammates potential. Guiao also thinks that his athletic guard is way better compared to the imports he coached before.
“If you give him the ball and make him create, it’s either he will find the open guy or he will score. A lot of PBA imports don’t get to that level. Mayroon silang physical skills, mayroon silang size and mayroon silang abilities, pero at a young age, it’s really the mental aspect of the game [that sets him apart]. How he reads the game, how he makes a decision, how he chooses his options, I think that’s the difference.”