MANILA, Philippines – The 12-man line-up for Gilas Pilipinas in the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup will be revealed on Sunday, after the team plays its second tune-up game against the Adelaide 36ers.
Coach Yeng Guiao confirmed as much on Wednesday, following a press conference at the Meralco Multi-Purpose Hall.
"We're not going to make any final announcements as to the final 12 (today)," he said. "We will make the announcement after the final game."
Gilas will play against the 36ers on Friday and Sunday as part of their build-up to the tournament in China.
"Up to now, myself and the coaching staff are having a hard time on the final 12," said the coach.
Guiao had previously said that the games against the 36ers will be crucial to their decision-making, particularly when it comes to the last two spots on the team.
He and the Gilas coaching staff are putting a premium on chemistry when it comes to making their choices, although they are also looking for "some balance of inside and outside scoring."
"That is why when (Marcio) Lassiter got injured, the first thing we thought of was Matthew Wright. Because in international competition, kailangan mo talagang kumunekta sa labas. Kapag hindi ka kumunekta sa labas, patay ka na," said Guiao.
Unfortunately for the team, Wright also sustained an injury during practice last Monday that will keep him out for four to five days and cause him to miss the games against Australia.
But Guiao noted that without their two best shooters, the other players on the team have been stepping up. This was evident in their tune-up games in Spain earlier this month, when he saw the Gilas players make threes under pressure from bigger defenders.
"'Yung parang nawala doon sa kina Jayson (Castro), 'yung nawala kina Marcio, parang nandyan naman kina Paul (Lee), kina CJ (Perez), kina Robert Bolick. The rest of the guys really delivered in terms of scoring. Be that outside shooting, or be that attacking the basket," said Guiao.
"I'm not really specifically looking, 'Kailangan shooter siya'," he added. "Dapat, he needs to be able to understand situations and contribute in those situations."
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