Whenever Jordan is vulnerable or can't make a headway against the opposition, Rasheim Wright gets in the act. Wright should be called the "Fire Man" (or Fire Fighter for pc purposes) as he extinguishes opponent's rally and douses their hope or when he leads his team in building up a sizable lead. The key is to handcuff Wright meaning play good defense on him. It's easier said than done though. Most likely Coach Yeng Guiao is going to put Norwood or Dillinger on him. Wright didn't play against Dillinger in the Jones Cup as the Filipino wasn't put in the line up back then. Again the scoring burden will be placed on Yap and Miller unless someone else rises up to the occasion. Ahhh...Team Pilipinas always rely on the smallest guy in the floor or a lone shooter (Jimmy Alapag in 2007 or Allan Caidic years ago). The positive thing is Team Pilipinas has been shooting better from three recently making at least 50% against Chinese Taipei and made 16 shots against Iran in addition to other players beside Yap made a three (Norwood, Miller, Helterbrand names I could remember).
Other players to watch out for are Al-Khas (6-9), Daghles (6-6), and Idais (6-10). Jordan is unbeaten since the Jones Cup (forfeited one game due to a walkout) and is in top form. I have a feeling Powerade Team Pilipinas can pull an upset. Jordan is the heavy favorite but the game is decided on the court and not in the betting section. To win, the Philippine team needs to play smart. Yes, I know they got what it takes and they know what they got to do. Suffocating defense and immaculate shooting are the key. They need to shoot better as Jordan's squad is tall and Team Pilipinas inside game disappears when they face a big squad and worse some get intimidated. As basketball experts pointed out against Iran yesterday, the Philippines only had four free throw attempts. It means they didn't penetrate or become more aggressive offensively. It will be another long night for Thoss, Taulava and Pennisi - our ever reliable big guys. But you can do it, guys!
Boy, I do hope for ONCE a Philippine Basketball Association-powered Team Pilipinas beat the odds and make us all proud.
If Korea beats Iran tonight, Team Pilipinas will meet the former in the semifinals (assuming the Nationals win their quarterfinals match up too).
How can most people support Team Pilipinas when they can't even see the replay on national television? Would the UAAP be large as it is today without TV exposure? Not everyone can see Team Pilipinas games live.