Gilas Pilipinas got back to work less than 24 hours after an eventful exhibition game against Jordan was halted when coach Yeng Guiao and Jordan coach Joey Steibeng had to be separated after getting into an argument.
It was a light practice session on Thursday night at the Meralco Gym. Gilas spent the bulk of the two-hour session walking through some motion plays.
That actually paled in comparison to the atmosphere a day ago when Gilas coach Yeng Guiao and Jordan counterpart Joey Steibeng engage in a verbal altercation.
Gilas was leading Jordan 82-73 with 6:26 remaining in the fourth period when the argument between Guiao and Steibeng halted play.
Despite the messy conclusion of the second exhibition game against Jordan, there was plenty Gilas can take away in their preparations.
Guiao said they were expecting the high level of physical play and Jordan delivered that. Gilas is expecting similar types of games against Kazakhstan and Iran in the fifth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
The Philippines is in third place in Group F at 5-3. Gilas takes on Kazakhstan on November 30 and Iran on December 3.
"At least the two Jordan games [helped] in terms of priming us for our games against Kazakhstan and Iran with regard to physicality," said Guiao. "So we have to be mentally prepared to accept that and embrace that it's going to be that physical and we have to perform under pressure, under duress.
The games also helped the team bond, something Guiao was happy to see given the short amount of time the team has had together.
Gilas forward Christian Standhardinger agreed but wished they had more time to play together before the meaningful games start.
"We have so much talent. We just need more games," Standhardinger said. "Man, I wish we would have another three weeks with another like six tuneup games because I think when we all come together, whew! We gotta be very dangerous."
Guiao is hoping game officials will be able to keep the next two scrimmages under control.
"The level of physicality during the Jordan games was high. Anything above that is a probably a control problem by the referees," he said in Filipino.
Gilas will face Lebanon on Friday, 8 p.m. at the University of the Philippines Molave Gym and on Sunday at the Meralco Gym.