Jeff Chan is confident that he’s bound to rediscover his shooting touch when Gilas Pilipinas kicks off its Olympic bid against France next Tuesday in the opening day of the FIBA qualifying tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The 6-foot-2 Chan missed all four of his 3-point attempts to end the game scoreless in Gilas’ narrow 82-76 defeat to world no. 8 Turkey in their practice game on Friday night.
“Medyo malas eh,” Chan told FOX Sports after the game. “Pero makakabawi naman tayo by July 5.”
The former far Eastern University, Gilas’ resident gunner, however, chose to look at the bigger picture, citing the national squad’s marked improvement since suffering a 103-68 demolition at the hands of Turkey last week.
“Lumabas naman yung laro namin saka nakadikit tayo and at the same time, I think maganda naman, kasi na-scout na din sila (Turkish team) dahil nung unang laban namin, wala kaming ka-idea idea,” noted the spitfire guard/wingman from Bacolod.
Gilas trailed by as much as 17 points in the 3rd canto, but managed to rally back several times, the last behind the 4th-quarter scoring binge of Terrence Romeo.
The Turkish national side though proved steadier in the end to hack out the win.
Chan though expects the partisan crowd to provide the much-needed morale boost when they face the Tony Parker-led French team.
“Ano pa lang yun, parang warm up pa lang,” Chan said, referring to the crowd that energized Gilas at the height of the national squad’s 4th quarter rally. “I know iba pagdating ng July 5, they are excited.” – By Richard Dy
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