Gilas Pilipinas looks to sustain its momentum in the 19th Asian Games it takes on Thailand in a Group C showdown on Thursday at the Zhejiang University Zijingang Gymnasium.
The national team is coming off a comfortable 89-61 rout of Bahrain in its first game last Tuesday, but they are wary of their Southeast Asian rivals.
Thailand, led by Tyler Lamb, is aiming to bounce back from a 97-63 demolition at the hands of Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Jordan, also last Tuesday. The TNT import had 20 points, seven rebounds, three steals and two assists in the win.
Gilas coach Tim Cone stressed that they cannot afford to take Thailand lightly even if they are coming off a defeat.
"We saw them [Thais] in the Southeast Asian Games, but we’re not matched up against them. They were knocked out by Cambodia. So we hope we’ll have a better feel of Thailand than we did. We gotta ‘cause Thailand’s a much stronger team than Bahrain," he said.
Tip-off is at 11:00 a.m.
Cone is especially wary of Thailand's players other than Lamb, who was limited to 3-of-14 shooting by Jordan. In his place, 5-foot-8 guard Frederick Lish had 13 points on 6 of 19 from the field but was abysmal from outside, going 1 of 9 in treys.
"We gotta go up the level, we gotta continue to rise in our game ‘cause we’re gonna play a tougher opponent each time out," said Cone.
"From Bahrain to Thailand to Jordan, and perhaps to the next round, whether it be Korea or Japan or whoever, and hopefully to the semis, maybe to the finals, we gotta continue to lift the level of our game, that’s important," he added.
After Thailand, Gilas faces Jordan on September 30 at 5:30 p.m.