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Team effort spells success for Gilas.

Team effort spells success for Gilas !-- -- Nelson Beltran ( - February 25, 2019 - 2:46pm ASTANA ndash Gilas coach Yeng Guiao said total team effort -- not just from the team but from the people behind it ndash spelled success in the country's second straight FIBA World Cup entry.

Guiao said the synergy between the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and the Philippine Basketball Association, the effort earlier done by coach Chot Reyes and his team, and even the support of the ordinary Filipino basketball fans factored as the Nationals achieved their goal of making it to the 2019 World Cup in China. "We have to thank a lot of people, firstly our SBP bosses and SBP officials because they really supported this team 100 percent.

Then to the PBA and the PBA board for lending all the players without any condition and just supporting us all the way through," said Guiao. "The fans counted a lot.

They kept on encouraging us and praying for us," Guiao also said, mentioning the huge crowd in Doha, Qatar and the small Filipino community in Kazakhstan that also came out to cheer for the team. And he shared the accolades with coach Chot Reyes and the players that served in the first three windows of the FIBAWC qualifiers.

"I can't take the credit that I brought the team to the World Cup. We just did the finishing touches," said Guiao who only took over from Reyes after the infamous Gilas-Australia brawl at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

The Nationals stood with a 4-2 win-loss card through the first three windows after sweeping Japan and Chinese Taipei in their home-and-away series, and dropping two matches against Australia. "Ang laking pabor ang ibinigay nila sa atin, allowing us to commit mistakes.

We had a margin of error. We'd been given time to get over the learning curve," said Guiao.

Team Phl found itself in a precarious position after two losses to Iran and the defeat at the hands of Kazakhstan in Manila last November. "Of course, Andray Blatche's return was timely," Guiao said, acknowledging the tremendous lift they got from the 6-foot-11 naturalized player.

"He's great in Qatar and he's even greater here." Truly, the country's success in the FIBAWC was a result of a team effort.

"Lahat nag-conspire. Lahat nagtugma-tugma para makarating tayo sa World Cup.

And this is our gift to the Filipino people," said Guiao.

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Publication:Philippines Star (Manila, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9KAZA
Date:Feb 25, 2019
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