Gilas Pilipinas trains its big guns on Vietnam, determined to bring its second opponent in the 30th Southeast Asian Games to its knees and go on the prowl for the next round of men’s basketball play.
The fancied home side torched Singapore to open its campaign last Wednesday, 110-58, but coach Tim Cone felt they still have a lot of fine-tuning to do to get fully prepped for what we expect to be a tougher opponent at 8:15 p.m. Friday.
“Against Singapore, we were uneven, showing flashes of brilliant play at times and at others showing how disjointed we can be. We’re hoping to smooth that out as we continue to learn each other as the Games progress,” said Cone.
Vietnam, a team bannered by Vietnamese-Americans Tran Dang Khoa, Dinh Thanh Sang, Tran Dang Khoa, Dinh Thanh Sang, Justin Young and Chris Dierker and Vietnamese-Swede Stefan Nguyen, showed their quality in a 131-52 massacre of Myanmar also last Wednesday.
“Vietnam is one program that has really improved with the addition of five Viet-Americans and one Viet-Swede since the last time in the Games…They got six, seven players who are really good athletes and really know the game. They played in the US so they’ve been raised in that kind of basketball and they’re bringing it to Vietnam so I think they’re gonna be very, very tough,” said Cone.