Guiao says Asian Games squad is starting to jell

Yeng Guiao looked delighted when he talked to reporters after the national team's second day of Asian Games practice on Tuesday.

Aside from having complete attendance, Guiao was pleased to see his team starting to get the hang of playing together.

"There's a lot of improvements actually," Guiao said after practice at the Meralco Gym. "The way we're running our plays from yesterday, I think they are starting to get the concepts and timing of the plays. We ran the plays a lot better today."

For many of the players, Guiao's system is nothing new. Save for Christian Standhardinger, James Yap, Stanley Pringle, Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero, all have played for the veteran coach in the PBA.

"We're very comfortable with each other. We're very at ease. We actually miss playing together. This is a good experience," Guiao said with a smile when asked about his reunion with his former players at Rain or Shine.

The feeling is mutual for Maverick Ahanmisi, who won the PBA 2016 Commissioner's Cup championship with Guiao.

"It's fun, it's fun. I think all of Rain or Shine players missed Coach Yeng, even Coach Caloy [Garcia]," said the Rain or Shine guard. "You can see their camaraderie together, real loyal to one another. I think the chemistry is already there, it's been fun and it's gonna be a fun experience."

While familiarity helps, the team still faces a daunting task after the squad was hastily assembled at the last minute.

The Philippines is grouped together with Kazakhstan and powerhouse China. Guiao knows beating China will be tough, and so winning the first game against Kazakhstan will be key to advancing to the next round.

"If we want to make our objective of finishing better than seventh place, we have to beat Kazakhstan," Guiao said. "And we're doing everything to achieve that. We're trying to look at their games and try to formulate a game plan against them."