For the duration of the 2011 Jones Cup in Taipei, SMART-Gilas Pilipinas national team assistant coach Charles Tiu, brother of Chris, will be filing exclusive dispatches for InterAKTV.
We have one game left in the elimination round, against the Team B of Japan. At first, it seemed like they were a weak team, but as the tournament progressed, they have only gotten better.
They lost to Korea by only two points, and they beat Jordan by double-digits. They are a fast team with good shooters, and they play very hard.
They also have a “nothing to lose” mentality that they play with every game.
Also, to make things more difficult, Thomas Wisman, the American head coach of the Japanese national team, has now arrived in Taiwan. He gave our team problems when we played against them twice last year — in the Jones Cup and at the Asian Games. Hopefully, it will be a different story for us this time.
We still don’t know who we will play in the semifinals on Saturday. I’ve been thinking about scenarios if we win against Japan.
Assuming South Korea, which is heavily favored, beats Taiwan, we would end up playing the winner of the game between Iran and Jordan. But if Taiwan ends up beating Korea, there would be four teams with a record of 5-2, and then we would have to go to the quotient system to sort out the match-ups.
This is all assuming we beat Japan, of course. But if we lose to Japan… well, I’m not thinking of that because losing is not an option. We are out to win tomorrow.
Anyway, if you saw today’s game against the United Arab Emirates, you would have seen a vintage Asi Taulava slamming home two dunks. He missed his first dunk attempt, but he said it was because he was only planning to lay it in, before realizing he was up so high that he decided to just slam it home.
It definitely lifted up our spirits. The team just seemed to have fun today, and it was like watching a clinic.
Hopefully, we can keep up the effort for three more games.
The game versus Japan will be broadcast live at 5 p.m. on AKTV on IBC-13.
For more updates on SMART-Gilas, follow Charles Tiu on Twitter.