It won’t be just Gilas Pilipinas shooting for a basketball gold in Kuala Lumpur.
Perlas Pilipinas, the less-heralded women’s squad, will also go all out for a Southeast Asian Games crown when the biennial meet kicks off next week.
But head coach Pat Aquino admitted that the schedule—not just their opponents—presents a big stumbling block.
“I don’t know about the schedule but it works against us,” said Aquino.
Competition starts Aug. 20. He said Perlas, which played in the tough Fiba Asia Women’s Cup, will play Singapore, Indonesia and Myanmar in that order.
“Then we will take on (title favorite) Thailand the following day. Thailand will be coming from a break going into that game,” Aquino told the Inquirer.
The crucial game against the Thais will be at 8:30 p.m. Then the Philippines takes on host Malaysia at 11 a.m. the following day.
“Imagine we need to go back to the hotel, it would take time. How much sleep can we get?” said Aquino.
Still, team captain Raiza Rose Dy said the team is in high spirits.
“Our experience in the Fiba Asia Women’s Cup was a big help, because of world class competition; we got to play against WNBA players,” said Dy. “That is something not experienced by other SEA Games countries.”
The Philippines wound up fourth two years ago in the Singapore edition which was dominated by Malaysia.
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