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.
A last minute change of schedule left the SMART-Gilas team with the daunting task of playing the defending Jones Cup champions Iran in its very first game tomorrow at 5 p.m. The new format also adds an extra semifinals and finals game.
It will be the first time the SMART-Gilas guys will play against Iran with 7-foot-2 NBA center Hamed Haddadi, who will surely be a formidable matchup.
One advantage Iran has is that they’ve been playing games against tougher opponents all over Europe — in the same tournament in which SMART-Gilas was supposed to play, before our trip was cancelled.
We are hoping that the boys won’t be rusty despite playing just a grand total of four game since the beginning of June — three games against teams from Liga Pilipinas, and the Ultimate All-Star Weekend match against Kobe and co.
After going through one last practice here in Taipei, the boys are ready and confident about their chances against Iran tomorrow, and in this tournament as a whole. The team has been practicing well lately and the players’ chemistry is continuing to improve with each day.
» Arwind Santos, Calvin Abueva lead PBA stars asked to help train Philippine team
» Amid tensions in Taiwan, Philippine team invitation to Jones Cup still stands
» Alaska willing to lend Calvin Abueva to Philippine national team