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Friday, April 19, 2024

Coach Chot Reyes aims for ‘small ball’ against Lebanon

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HEAD coach Chot Reyes will go for the small ball when the national team faces Lebanon on Friday for its penultimate game in the sixth and last window of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) World Cup Asian Qualifiers Friday at the Philippine Arena.

“Everybody will have to work hard, particularly in rebounding,” Reyes said after team practice at the Meralco Gym on Monday night. “We have to do some rebounding work to take a look if we can rebound with a small line up.”

Gilas Pilipinas started training twice a day this week for its game against Lebanon set at 6 p.m. Friday in the in Bocaue arena.

The nationals have a 6-foot-4 average height which is a good two inches shorter than the Lebanese

Reyes took in as “sparring partner” in the pool’s practices at the Meralco Gym 6-foot-11 Daniel Ochefu, TNT Tropang Giga’s import for the East Asia Super League.

“We just want to get a big body because we are anticipating how we’re going to be overmatched in size against Jordan and Lebanon without most of our bigs,” Reyes said. “We’re really thankful to Dan [Ochefu].”

The tallest in Reyes’s lineup is 6-foot-10 June Mar Fajardo with 6-foot-7 veteran Kelly Williams, a late addition to the pool, a potential sub for the San Miguel Beer big man.

Gilas won’t have the services of veteran Japeth Aguilar (6-foot-7) and naturalized player Ange Kouame (6-foot-10) who are both injured, and even possibly Raymond Almazan (conflict in schedule).

Kai Sotto, the tallest at 7-foot-3, was also hardly in the Gilas equation for the Lebanon and Jordan game on Monday because of issues with his stint overseas.

Even 6-foot-7 youngster Carl Tamayo is out of the picture after he signed a contract with Ryukyu Golden Kings of the Japan B.League.

Justin Brownlee is only 6-foot-6, way short erthan the team’s previous naturalized players Marcus Douthit and Andray Blatche, who are both 6-foot-11.

Lebanon has two players at 6-foot-11—Ater Majok and Norvelle Pelle,–and three standing at 6-foot-9—Karim Ezzedine, naturalized player Jonathan Arledge and Ali Haidar.

Gilas takes on Jordan also at 6 p.m. on Monday at the Philippine Arena.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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