Aug 6. Thursday 0900H vs. Sri Lanka
Aug 7. Friday 2100H vs. Japan
Aug 8. Saturday 2100H vs. South Korea
Yes, when you are reading this, maybe the Fiba-Asia 2009 Championship has already begun. There were many things said about the performance of Powerade Team Pilipinas. As much as I don't want to add anything to their agony and risk being called a traitor, crab or anything like that I will say what I want to say. There are only three things I could give as unsolicited advice. They are simple and I know that the coaching staff is aware of this but the players still keep on making these mistakes. First, it is humiliating for professionals but Powerade Team Pilipinas should practice passing - playing possum or whatever excuse they have will not spare them from this advice. I saw Raymundo, Dillinger, Aguilar, Baguio, Miller, Norwood, Santos and others who can't properly handle passes in the recently concluded Jones Cup that it's so frustrating to watch! For pros like them, it should be routine to catch the ball easily. Many easy opportunities were wasted by mishandling of the ball. Second, Powerade Team Pilipinas should practice their lay-ups. Blown lay-ups look funny --- ask Japeth against Korea --- and regrettable. Finally, They should practice shooting -- esp. three-point shooting. In the game against Jordan, the team threw - A LOT OF BRICKS. I saw the team execute a set play wonderfully but the shot was missed --- get my drift? Of course I know Team Pilipinas practices these things but why do they still commit these errors. If I'm not mistaken they averaged 20 Turnovers / game. Yes, I know they still lack familiarity but its no excuse to blow a lay-up or make an INBOUND turnover. There are people who can make better assessments but I'll stick to basics.
Powerade Team Pilipinas has nine days left before the Tianjin wars. Can they suddenly morph from a disorganized, rag-tag squad to a cohesive unit as some defenders believe? I hope so. Anything less than a third place is not acceptable. If it's not doable, three wins in Tianjin would be enough (for me -- as a supporter please read my previous posts for clarification. If Team Pilipinas want to advance further then they should win all their games in the first and second round to avoid a confrontation with China).
Don't underestimate Sri Lanka, Team Pilipinas! After the Jones Cup fiasco, you are in no position look down on any team - it might come back and bit you like CT-B. Thankfully we won against them. If its possible dispose the opponents early because in Fiba-Asia Championship accidents happen! Remember the 2007 Team Pilipinas and the Greek referee? Anyways, Good luck to Powerade Team Pilipinas!