Gilas Pilipinas Men’s team head coach Yeng Guiao wasn’t bothered at all by the remark of President Rodrigo Duterte that the Philippine team was no match for the taller Italians and that he’d rather place his bet on China.
Duterte made the remark during his speech before the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. in Malacañang.
The national team, currently on a 10-day training camp in Spain as part of its preparation for the upcoming 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, will take on Italy on August 31, Serbia on September 2 and Angola on September 4.
“It doesn’t really bother us. I guess you just have to take that from a positive point of view, your attitude should be positive. We should be able to just keep believing in ourselves,” said Guiao.
“We look at it as a challenge. The best approach is to look at it as a challenge, just keep believing in what you can do,” he added.
Regardless of what Duterte thinks of the Philippines’ chances in the tournament, Guiao believes that the President would still be rooting for the national team come game time.
“Whatever happens, we’re here to represent the Philippines the best way we can. At the end of the day, I think the president will still be rooting for us anyway.”