WATCH: Yeng Guiao says Kai Sotto, Gilas youth should be more mature

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Gilas Pilipinas men’s seniors national team head coach Yeng Guiao sounded off on the recent FIBAU19 World Cup, saying that the Filipino youngsters should work on their “skills and maturity” rather than matching the height of their competitors.

“I saw most of the games, actually. I still feel compared to other countries, hindi na tayo masyadong agrabyado sa height, pero sa maturity sa laro, napaka-mature ng laro ng mga ibang bansa, Europeans especially,” said Guiao.

Gilas Pilipinas Youth was led by the likes of Kai Sotto, Dave Ildefonso, Gerry Abadiano, and Carl Tamayo. They were able to get a win in the classification phase to finish 14th place overall with a 1-5 record throughout the competition in Greece.

Guiao said one of the advantages of international superpowers is having dedicated basketball programs to hone the individual skills of their players at a young age.

“These Europeans, they come off basketball academies. Not just the schools. Ang source ng players natin ay junior and college leagues. Sa Europe, aside from regular school leagues, there are basketball clubs that take care of the training, improvement, and evelopement of these players. Mas malalim yung preparation doon,” said Guiao.

These said programs add more skills and hone the mental toughness and maturity of teenage-level players, making them ready for a high-level basketball setting.

“I think that is something we can also look at. We need to, siguro pattern our program (sa ganoon). Actually, yan ang pinasukan ni Kai. As young as he is, if they spot potentials, they put them in some kind of program while playing for their schools, na pwede rin nating gawin,” added Guiao.

“We have to build on the skills and the maturity of our game.”

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