Veteran national player Jean Marc Pingris said that Gilas Pilipinas should be aggressive in attaining the caliber of play of their counterparts in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying tournament set on July 5 to 10 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
“In most international competitions, most seven-footers and any big men can shoot outside the three-point lane that’s why our big men should also learn how to score beyond the arc,” Pingris, 35, told reporters.
Pingris is one of the two veteran players in the national team in addition to Ranidel De Ocampo.
“If you give them an open look, then they can easily score. We must also defend well.”
In basketball, big men who play center and forward are known for playing inside taking care of rebounds and providing defense at the paint. They also score inside, while the guards are known for being fast, shooter and great passers too.”
The 14-man squad assembled by coach Tab Baldwin will fly to Greece on Friday for a tune-up game, which is part of their preparation for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying tournament.
“We should communicate very well with each other while playing especially in defense because that’s very important,” Pingris added. “There’s nothing wrong about it and at the same time. Our guards or backcourt players should also help us in rebounding.”
“In other countries, guards are tall just like my height. They [guards]should also get some rebounds not only the big players.” Pingris stands 6’6 but plays forward and center roles during games.
Gilas’ assistant coach Jong Uichico shared Pingris’ observation, “As of now, the good example of three-point shooting big man or stretch four is 6’5 Ranidel De Ocampo and Andray [Blatche], our naturalized player. Big men in the international level also move fast and very athletic,” said Uichico.
“Guards also need to do their part in rebounding if needed. We also need to learn how to adjust quickly because there are only few timeouts in the international competition. We cannot allow our opponent to control the tempo of the game.”
The other Gilas big man who can shoot in the three-point zone is the 6’7” Jeth Troy Rosario.
From Greece, Gilas Pilipinas will fly to Istanbul, Turkey for another tune-up game on June 23, before going to Bologna, Italy for a friendly against China, Italy or Canada. The team will return home on June 27.
Joining Pingris in the Europe training camp are De Ocampo, Bobby Ray Parks, Calvin Abueva, Terrence Romeo, Andray Blatche, June Mar Fajardo, LA Tenorio, Japeth Aguilar, Norwood, Rosario, Jayson Castro, Jeff Chan and Ryan Reyes.