Yeng Guiao and some of his players from the Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia only have a day to rest before convening again to prepare for the fourth window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers.
The Philippine men's basketball team, following a fifth-place finish at the Asian Games, returns to Manila on Saturday. Many of them will be at the Meralco Gym on Monday to begin preparing to face Iran.
Gilas Pilipinas is third in Group E at 4-2, behind Australia and Iran which are both at 5-1.
The Gilas will face Iran, Qatar, and Kazakhstan twice in the second group stage. The top three teams get a spot in the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China.
The Philippines just has is beat the lower ranked Qatar and Kazakhstan to advance.
That does not mean they're willing to concede a game against Iran.
"We've scouted Iran here," said Guiao after their victory against Syria. "Playing Iran anywhere else is a tall order. Trying to beat them at home is a taller order."
Guiao also admitted that they'll be under time pressure but the PBA made it a little bit easier for them by not scheduling games from September 6 until the end of the window.
"Same problem as before," Guiao said. "We have a short preparation for the Iran window. It's a challenge but we'll do our best."
Guiao will have to incorporate new players joining the team as a result of the suspensions stemming from the July 2 brawl with Australia.
"Almost half of the team will have replacements, it's practically starting again with one week of preparation. It will be cramming for us," Guiao said.
Eight of the players from the Asian Games roster are invited -- Beau Belga, Raymond Almazan, and Gabe Norwood from Rain or Shine, Stanley Pringle from GlobalPort, Christian Standhardinger from San Miguel Beer, Asi Taulava from NLEX, Poy Erram from Blackwater, and Paul Lee from Magnolia.
"Matthew Wright (Phoenix) was invited because he's suspended for only one game. He would be available for the Qatar game. The other invitees are Alex Cabagnot (SMB), Marcio Lassiter (SMB), Scottie Thompson (Ginebra), Ian Sangalang (Magnolia), and Allein Maliksi (Blackwater)," Guiao said.
There was no mention of Japeth Aguilar who was also only suspended for one game or Baser Amer who was one of only three players not to be suspended. Norwood and June Mar Fajardo were the other two.
Guiao stressed there are no guaranteed spots in the 14-player pool.
"Let's see who's committed. It's still a decision that needs to be made by the players themselves," he explained. "And from the information I got, the teams already gave their approval. It's really different when we help each other out."