Philippine men's basketball coach Yeng Guiao liked what he saw in his squad's first scrimmage with new addition Jordan Clarkson of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
While Clarkson arrived during the game against Kazakhstan, he only had his first scrimmage Sunday morning at the GMSB Court in Jakarta.
"In the past days we were just trying to walk through our plays and make him more familiar," Guiao said. "We're very happy with how things are going. I know this is not yet his 100 percent. He's just trying to look for his teammates and get them going but you can see that when he decides to make a move, he can almost do anything at will. We will see that in the China game."
Clarkson showed off his passing ability during the practice. The best moments came when he found Stanley Pringle for a corner 3-pointer with a behind-the-back pass and when he dished to an unaware Raymond Almazan -- with the ball bouncing off his shoulder before the big man eventually caught it to make a basket.
"My feeling is that Jordan is just trying to gauge his teammates to see whom he can look for in the game and that's already processed in his head by this time," Guiao said. "Stanley Pringle scored 18 points in the game against Kazakhstan and I think Jordan can do that against China.
"However, he does not have to score a lot of points for us to win. All he has to do is to make his teammates look good. We can go to him on a breakdown of a play or to bail us out. He can break down the defense at will so we want to run our plays still, but we know that if something goes wrong in the last five or six seconds, we can look for him and he can bail us out."
Guiao knows that his team is in for a tough task when they take on China who brought some of their best players to Indonesia. While they were mixing up veterans and younger players in their games in the FIBA Asian Qualifiers, they brought a powerhouse to try and reclaim in gold in the Asiad.
China is the winningest country in men's basketball at the Asian Games with seven while Korea and the Philippines are tied for second at four apiece. The Philippines were the best in the region in the first four editions of the Asian Games with the last title coming way back in 1962, which incidentally was also the last time that Indonesia hosted.
"I like what I'm seeing so far but we have just played one game," Guiao said after their practice.
"The China game is a big test but of course whatever happens in that game, the key will be the third game whoever we might be against. It could be against Korea or a lesser opponent but that will determine if we can chase a medal. The signs are good but we cannot conclude yet if we have a really good team but I'm seeing good signs. China is the overwhelming favorite but if we could solve the size problem, we will fight until the end. If we can't solve that, we'll just scratch our heads."