Team Pilipinas will make use of its traditional weapon when encountering behemoths – speed.
That is what national team head coach Yeng Guiao emphasized in coming up with their line-up when they play Iran in Tehran this Thursday, September 13 in the start of the fourth window the Fiba World Cup Qualifiers.
“I’m impressed with our speed, and that will be our advantage against Iran,” Guiao said. “But for us to also to utilize our speed we will need to rebound.”
With Greg Slaughter nursing an ankle sprain, there is concern about containing Iran’s seven-foot-two center Hamed Haddadi.
The legendary Iranian center, a legitimate NBA veteran, will also count on the return of veteran forward Samad Nikkah Bahrami who has also punished the Philippines in the past with his drives and ability to hit the outside shot.
Iran totes a 5-1 won-loss record in Group F, while the Philippines has a 4-2 record.
The team will flew to Iran with its 16-player pool with Guiao trimming the team to the final 12 on Wednesday.
As for the naturalized player, it will come down to Christian Standhardinger and Stanley Pringle but in all likelihood, it will be the former as a presence inside is sorely needed.
In the pool are Poy Erram, Allein Maliksi, Asi Taulava, Matthew Wright, Gabe Norwood, Raymond Almazan, Beau Belga, Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter, Paul Lee, Ian Sangalang, Scottie Thompson, Japeth Aguilar, and Slaughter.
After Iran, Team Pilipinas will face Qatar in a closed-door match on Monday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.