The Philippine basketball team is neck deep in their preparations with the 2018 Asian Games just days away.
The group had its first tune-up game on Saturday, beating the TNT KaTropa by two points, 78-76, at the Moro Lorenzo Sports Center in Quezon City.
National team head coach Yeng Guiao seemed pleased with the players' performance despite the short prep time. He was also happy to see the team play with a run-and-gun style but said they still have to improve a lot on defense and with their free throw shooting.
"What I saw is in a few days of practice, we looked good. There's chemistry, there's natural flow of the game, and the players complement each other in a game situation. We have a few more days to improve," said Guiao, who opted to start Stanley Pringle, James Yap, Maverick Ahanmisi, Beau Belga and Poy Erram against TNT.
"We can be a lot more efficient. But again we had limited time to prepare. Despite that, we showed great teamwork," he added.
TNT guard and Gilas standout Terrence Romeo was impressed with what he saw from the current national basketball team.
"They don't seem like a new team. They have great chemistry and they're all veterans and experienced players. I'm sure they'll perform well in the upcoming games," said Romeo.
TNT coach Nash Racela said the national team boasts of talent, but still needs to improve on jelling with one another.
"It's just a matter of learning chemistry. We just hope in a couple of days, they can improve on that," said Racela.
On Friday evening, Guiao bared the 12-man lineup for the Asian Games. The roster included Filipino-American and NBA player Jordan Clarkson, but an NBA source told ESPN the Cleveland Cavaliers guard will not participate in the Asian Games.
"We will represent the country with or without Jordan Clarkson. Of course we would've wanted to have him with us, but if he won't be able to join there's nothing we can do. We did our best to do that, but that's okay," said Guiao.
The team will have a quick workout on Sunday morning to maximize their time before flying to Indonesia in the evening.