Having fun with some alone time on the driving vary of Manila Southwoods early Tuesday, Jeff Chan readily put his 7-iron again within the bag when the subject of the Gilas Pilipinas crew he was a part of for the 2014 World Cup in Spain was introduced up.
“We have been actually a tight-knit group, we have been already a staff months earlier than [the tournament],” Chan advised the Inquirer in Filipino when requested why that squad made so many heads flip—and even brought about their opponents to squirm of their group play matches—within the quaint Spanish metropolis of Seville.
“There have been 16 members of that pool, and all 16 have been collectively for 2 to a few months,” he stated. “We had a camp in the US after which we went to Europe—all of us. And I feel that claims so much why that staff carried out effectively.”
Chan talked when it was made clear that he wasn’t going to be requested to make comparisons of that staff to the one that may start Group A play on Friday in opposition to Karl Anthony-Cities and the Dominican Republic at Philippine Enviornment in Bocaue, Bulacan.
“We have been additionally fortunate as a result of there weren’t many accidents on that staff,” he stated because the again spasms of Kai Sotto and the fracture on the appropriate hand of Scottie Thompson gave this group of Nationals simply two full weeks collectively.
“We have been extra intact due to that.”
However Chan, who scored 17 factors on 4-for-6 taking pictures from three-point vary in an 81-78 loss to Croatia and Bojan Bogdanovic within the Philippines’ first recreation again on the worldwide stage in 40 years, can’t assist however level out to the caliber of naturalized participant who will lead the Filipinos this time round.
“He’s from one other stage,” Chan stated of Jordan Clarkson, the half-Filipino who can solely play as a naturalized citizen due to kinks within the Fiba (Worldwide Basketball Federation) guidelines. “However like I stated, it’s nonetheless a distinct staff once you’ve been collectively for thus lengthy, as a result of you recognize all of your tendencies on the court docket.”
Andray Blatche, that point already within the US when Gilas began camp there, flew with the staff to Europe after.
And although there have been many issues stated in regards to the former Brooklyn Internet within the Nationwide Basketball Affiliation, the time that Blatche spent with the staff enabled them to type a band of brothers that went to warfare collectively.“We weren’t collectively solely on the basketball court docket,” the left-handed Chan defined.
“We dined collectively, spent nights outdoors collectively.
We actually knew one another [back then].
“I’m not saying that they (this batch of Nationals) don’t have a brotherhood like we did, however in comparison with different nations—and we’re not extremely rated as they’re—they’ve been collectively for months, if not years.”
Rajko Toroman, the Serbian coach who drew up the Gilas Pilipinas blueprint greater than a decade again, in a narrative launched by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas a few days again stated that this Gilas crew is the strongest Philippine staff ever assembled.
Not like Batch 2014 when Chan stated: “Nobody ever anticipated us to be enjoying shut video games.”
Whereas ending up with a 1-4 file in group play that 12 months, it was solely Greece, then ranked effectively inside the highest 10 on the earth even with a uncooked Giannis Antetokounmpo within the roster, that Chan felt they didn’t stand an opportunity.
All of the others — Croatia, Argentina and Puerto Rico — barely escaped the Filipinos.
“Our goal [to beat] that 12 months was actually Senegal,” Chan stated as he recalled staff conferences and huddles with coach Chot Reyes. “However after dropping [to Croatia] by three in our first recreation, coach (Chot) requested us to try to take the remaining video games all the way in which. And we nearly did and we’re very happy with that.”
The Argentines gained, 85-81, the Puerto Ricans have been bailed out by J.J. Barea, 77-73, in extra time. Solely the Greeks gained by twin digits, 82-70, earlier than the Filipinos pulled out an 81-79 extra time win over Senegal to hit their goal.With simply three group video games slated this time, Chan sees the street to be powerful—nearly scary—particularly with world No. 10 Italy there. Angola is the fourth staff within the group.
And Reyes has publicly declared his expenses’ targets this time—Anthony-Cities and the Dominicans after which the Angolans.
“Who is aware of, we would simply shock the world,” Chan stated. “It’s time to rally behind the staff now.” INQ
(Editor’s word: The author, Inquirer’s assistant sports activities editor, lined Gilas Pilipinas within the 2014 World Cup.)
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