(Persia Digest) - National team coach Yeng Guiao has replaced four players from the team that competed against Kazakhstan in the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers last Friday, as they prepare to take on Iran on Monday.
ABS-CBN News reports that Gilas Pilipinas absorbed a narrow 92-88 loss to visiting Kazakhstan at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday night, squandering a chance to earn a share of second place in Group F.
But they have another opportunity to rise to joint second when they take on Iran on Monday, also at the MOA Arena.
Guiao confirmed to reporters on Saturday night that he will be fielding in four new players: Christian Standhardinger, Troy Rosario, Jayson Castro, and Arwind Santos.
Standhardinger will be the team's naturalized player, taking the place of Stanley Pringle. Rosario and Castro, meanwhile, make their return after serving their suspensions stemming from their involvement in the brawl with Australia in July. Santos is set to wear national team colors for the first time in nearly a decade.
They replace Greg Slaughter, Poy Erram, and Alex Cabagnot in the 12-man line-up.
Guiao said they made the adjustments to the line-up after their big men's lack of speed were exposed in the loss to Kazakhstan.
"There is a quickness factor, there is a speed factor that we need to consider. Because the big men that we face are big, and they're quick, and they're strong. So if you're just big, it will not suffice," said Guiao.
"So you have to be able to combine, you have to be able to combine the size and the speed, the quickness in order to just match-up," he added.
He is hopeful that by fielding in Standhardinger, Rosario and Santos, the team can achieve "maximum efficiency of size and quickness."
"We feel we've made the adjustment, line-up-wise. We feel that the people we put in, of course Christian has the quickness, Troy has the quickness, Arwind has the quickness, then si Jayson. So 'yung quickness requirement namin, napunuan naman," he said.
"Pero 'yun nga, magsa-sacrifice ka ng size."
Joining the four players in the final line-up revealed on Sunday afternoon are: Japeth Aguilar, Beau Belga, June Mar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, Gabe Norwood, LA Tenorio, Scottie Thompson, and Matthew Wright.
Guiao also reported that the Filipinos were upbeat in practice, even after the tough loss to Kazakhstan.
"Actually, we're trying to put that loss behind us. 'Pag nanalo naman tayo sa Iran, makakabawi tayo. Actually we will tie them in second place kung talunin natin sila," said the coach.
"We started this window, we were in third place. So with the loss of Iran, we have a chance to tie them in second place, so that's going to be still within our objective," he added.
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