FOSHAN, China — The FIBA World Cup is no picnic and Gilas Pilipinas is ready to embrace the pressure of essaying a historic finish for Philippine basketball.
Gilas head coach Yeng Guiao said they would play Italy with fire in their eyes, knowing that its outcome would determine their fates in this prestigious 32-nation conclave featuring the best basketball teams in the world.
“The battlecry is 40 minutes of sacrifice and commitment,” said Guiao shortly after presiding an early evening shoot-around at the GBA International Sports and Cultural Center in this bustling Chinese metropolis.
“So tomorrow, it’s 40 minutes of sacrifices and commitment from our players. We’re going to be committed to our execution of our gameplan and sacrifice because we’re little guys trying to play the big guys.”
The Nationals are up and ready for the biggest game of their lives.
A setback to the Italians on Saturday would shatter their hopes of advancing to the second round while a victory would give them a chance to come up with a historic finish should they book another victory over either Serbia or Angola.
Guiao said they would do everything just to come up with a crucial win.
“It’s going to be very tiring, it’s going to be, sometimes, painful,” he said.
“It’s going to be pressure-laden. But I’m also telling the guys to just embrace the pressure and enjoy it. That’s going to be our attitude.”
“So tomorrow (Saturday), we’ll go there and give our all.”