SEVILLE, Spain -- The free-wheeling style of play best suits Gilas Pilipinas and Filipino fans hope this works when the nationals go up against Greece early Monday morning (Philippine time) at the FIBA World Cup of Basketball.
The Philippine squad will return to action at the Palacio Municipal de Deportes San Pablo here in Seville where they will tackle a much more dangerous team in Greece, which ranks number 5 in the world.
The "Hellas" boast of three NBA players in their roster, namely Nick Calathes of the Memphis Grizzlies, Kostas Papanikolaou of the Houston Rockets, and Giannis Antetokoumpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.
They also have the hard-working Kostas Kaimakoglou, who averages 17 points and 8 rebounds per game.
Gilas, on the other hand, will again parade naturalized player Andray Blatche along with their reliables Marc Pingris, Jeffrei Chan, Jayson Castro and Paul Lee.
Their fellow Gilas pool member Jay Washington said the nationals should be well rested before heading to the game, especially after their thrilling encounter with Croatia Saturday night (Philippine time), which they nearly beat, 78-81.
"I think we should should get rest and get ready for another tough one," said Washington after Gilas' brave effort on Saturday. "Overall, I think they played great today, I don't think we can ask for anything more."
He added that the Filipinos will have to use their advantages and avoid playing man-to-man basketball.
"Bottom-line is most teams are gonna be bigger than us. We just have to play to our strengths. Usually when we're playing free wheeling, just moving the ball, playing off that way gets results."
Meanwhile, veteran sports analyst Joaquin Henson said Gilas has improved by leaps and bounds, and they showed it during their recent games, including the friendlies.
"Maganda ang pinakita natin sa friendlies, we only got one win against Egypt, but at the same time, we gave Angola a tough fight, we gave Dominican Republic a tough fight, we gave France a tough fight," said Henson.
"Those indications show that this team is getting better and better."
The game will take place on Sunday night in Seville or 2 a.m. in Manila.
Gilas' FIBA World Cup is backed by several sponsors, including Master Facial Care.