Gilas 5.0 interim coach Josh Reyes sees a tougher sailing for the Kiefer Ravena and Bobby Ray Parks-less national team that will compete in the 2016 FIBA Asia Challenge but expects the other players in the pool to step up.
Reyes named two players who will be thrust into the leadership role as Ravena and Parks decided to pursue their NBA dreams in the US.
“Mac Belo and Kevin Ferrer have been the leaders of this team for quite awhile now,” Reyes told FOX Sports opting not to dwell on the absence of Ravena and Parks.
Belo and Ferrer are both capable of leading the new-look Gilas team having been part of past Cadet teams that have ruled the Southeast Asian region.
With Ravena and Parks deciding earlier than later, Reyes said they can now focus on the tournament where they are drawn with perennial Gilas rival Chinese Taipei and one of the emerging teams in Asia, India.
“There’s no easy draw for us in this tourney. Every team will be a challenge. This will be the India team that beat China in FIBA Asia Cup in Wuhan. They have 4 guys above 6’10 so we will have to device a way to rebound against them. Chinese Taipei has been preparing with this team for awhile now. They have a good mixture of FIBA Asia veterans and young guys,” said Reyes, who is well familiar with both teams.
He is unfazed though despite the Cadet team being thrown in what he termed as “trial by fire”.
“Again tough for a rookie squad in this level. I’m optimistic though, that we will be able to compete well with these two teams,” Reyes said. – By Alder Almo
Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo