Expect a run-and-gun duel between the Philippines and Japan in the Fiba World Cup qualifying on Nov. 24 in Tokyo, Japan.
With a slew of fleet-footed guards, Gilas Pilipinas has always been a running team to compensate its lack of size.
And it appears that Japan is planning to fight speed with speed.
“I think speed will be important, especially in our first game against the Philippines, which is a great offensive team,” said Yuki Togashi, Japan’s star point guard.
The 5-foot-6 Togashi is wary of Gilas’ offensive capabilities with Andray Blatche at the forefront and Jayson Castro running the point.
“The Philippines are very strong with their one on one plays, as if they are playing street ball. We have to be careful because with their strong offense, they can score 10 points in just a minute or two,” said the 24-year-old Togashi.
“We have to step up on defense, including myself, and then from there we have to make sure to get the defensive rebounds, which has been a problem for us,” he added. “If we can get rebounds, I can run the fastbreak.”
The Philippines and Japan are in Group B along with Chinese Taipei and reigning Asian champion Australia.
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