"It’s all about winning. It’s a charity game but we will go out there to give them a very good fight. We will try to be competitive in the game and this is a big challenge to the young guys.” Toroman told the Business Mirror last Wedsnesday.
And if you don't agree with my assessment here's Coach Yeng Guiao, "Kapag nag-umpisa na, there’s really no holding back. It cannot be denied, there’s a lot of pride involved between these two national teams. It is also for bragging rights.
Though most Philippine Basketball Association teams don't take exhibition games seriously (Alaska Aces lost to M.Lhuillier team in Liga Pilipinas), the game against Gilas is a different thing. Some people reckon the PBA's pride is at stake - a defeat to Gilas is a disaster. It became more apparent last Saturday when news reports leaked that several Talk N Text players ganged up on Smart Gilas reinforcement CJ Giles. It was only a practice game between sister teams and if I'm not mistaken they do play together a lot. Rick Olivares reported that TNT was getting frustrated in the paint by the combo of Giles and Japeth Aguilar. Worse, Gilas was leading by ten!
"Sayang. We looked up to them (Talk ‘N Text) as big brothers practicing with them from the start, idolizing them on television. Nakakawalang respeto" unnamed Gilas' cager told Olivares.
I do hope this nonsense won't happen tonight. I want to see a great basketball game.
Smart Gilas vs Powerade Team Pilipinas: Battle For Respect
Here another quote from Coach Yeng: "When the game starts, there's really no holding back," said Guiao. "We will definitely go for the win badly as there's so much pride at stake. They (Gilas) want to earn respect, but we won't give it to them. If they were in our shoes, they would do the same."
Don't worry Coach, they will earn your respect, just like the rest of Asia when they played in the continental club championship.
Taulava, Thoss, & Raymundo vs Giles & Aguilar
Arboleda vs Barroca
Yap vs Ababou
Smart Gilas should be wary of Cyrus Baguio's quick counter attacks, Yap's three point shooting and De Ocampo's elbows. Powerade is squad not just brimming with talent but with experienced players like Taulava, even Thoss could pose a problem for Smart Gilas as he is quick, agile and most importantly have great timing to grab those rebounds. The development team has the advantage of being together for so long. It will not be as easy as most people think this game will be. A very determined squad of PBA veterans is hard to beat, just ask Chinese-Taipei (see story below) and Japan. Hopefully, the young ballers of Smart Gilas will learn a lot from this game and prove some people wrong.
Watch Smart Gilas vs Powerade Team Pilipinas
CS9 / BTV will cover the game. I'm not sure when. Please check this site
Try CS9 at 6:00 pm Tonight.