Yeng Guiao hopes to tap more shooters for Asian Games team

Yeng Guiao confirmed on Wednesday that NLEX team officials gave him the green light to handle the core of the Rain or Shine side that will compete in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta this August.

Guiao admits that handling a Philippine team will be challenging considering there will be a little more than two weeks to prepare before basketball games kick off next month. The quadrennial games will open on August 18, with the basketball competition opening four days earlier.

And since he's fresh from coaching NLEX in the just-concluded 2018 Asia League Summer Super 8 where they placed fourth, Guiao had a feel again of what it's like to coach in the international arena. And he hopes to put together a national team that has the size and outside shooting that could compete with Asia's best.

Guiao has a wish list and it includes his former players Paul Lee, now with Magnolia, and Jeff Chan of Barangay Ginebra, along with San Miguel's Marcio Lassiter and GlobalPort's Stanley Pringle to join a team comprised primarily of Rain or Shine players.

"Going to the Asian Games, you need to have two things: you need to have good and quality big men and then, second, you need to have lights-out shooters in the mold of Marcio Lassiter. That's why I have also included in the list that I gave SBP (Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas) Paul Lee, Jeff Chan and even Stanley Pringle," Guiao told ESPN5.

Guiao stressed that with little time to prepare, familiarity with the system is critical.

But then again, it's one thing to wish for some of these players, and it's another if Lee and company will be lent to the national team by their PBA mother ball clubs.

"Well, we know that even SMC (San Miguel Corp-owned) teams have said they are willing to lend their players but for now, that all depends because San Miguel and Ginebra are still playing in the [Commissioner's Cup] finals, so for now, we're looking at probably tapping seven to eight players from Rain or Shine," Guiao said.

Nine players from Gilas -- Jayson Castro, Terrence Romeo, Carl Bryan Cruz, Calvin Abueva, Andray Blatche, Troy Rosario, Roger Pogoy, Matthew Wright and Japeth Aguilar -- were suspended due to the fight-marred game involving Australia in their FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers last July 2 in Bocaue, Bulacan.

Guiao, who guided the Philippines to an eighth-place finish in the 2009 FIBA Asia Championship in Tianjin, China, said from now till the weekend, he'll be discussing with SBP officials and probably some PBA team officials who will compose the final 12 for the Asiad.

Gabe Norwood, James Yap, Beau Belga, Chris Tiu, Maverick Ahanmisi and Raymond Almazan are considered shoo-ins for the ROS-backed national team.