JAKARTA — The Rain or Shine-Pilipinas team was looking for any edge in order to keep up with China in their game at the GBK Basketball Hall today at 4 p.m. (5 p.m. Manila time).
Speed and outside shooting are the only edge the Filipinos can bank on in facing the Chinese squad, many-time champions of the basketball competitions in the quadrennial meet, head coach Yeng Guiao and his troops will try to use that to the fullest against their taller counterparts.
Over the last 48 hours, the Filipinos had intense sessions with NBA player Jordan Clarkson, who will finally make his debut in the Asiad. This afternoon, the team will spent time viewing and scouting their rivals.
“We’ve become quicker with the entry of Clarkson. Filipinos, particularly the guards, are naturally fast, quick. But if we’re fast, Clarkson is probably the fastest in the squad, Guiao told BusinessWorld in an exclusive interview. Jordan is incredibly quick with his reflexes. He’s going to create match up problems for China once they decide to play match up defense with us.”
Against the Chinese, the Philippines will face a taller frontline bannered by their two seven footers who are likely going to play at the same time.
“They have Zhou Qi, a 7-foot-1 player from the Houston Rockets who can extend his range as far as the three-point line,” said lead scout Ryan Gregorio, a three-time PBA champion. “They also have Wang Zhelin, a star player in the Chinese league, who is seven-feet tall. But another guy who can also create problems for us is Abdushalamu Abudurexeti, a guard who has a body of a power forward.”
“Ding Yanyuang, who plays for the Dallas Mavericks, can also create mismatches at the small forward spot.” — Rey Joble