5-on-5 with Tony Dela Cruz and Charles Tiu (Part 1): Gilas 2.0

The Gilas 2.0 program is warming up. Coach Chot Reyes has been assigned as head coach amidst questions on the move being politically motivated. But people are more curious as to the composition of the sequel. So who would you pick as the starters? Who will be picked from the amateur ranks? How would Javale McGee fit in with the team?

1. If you were Chot Reyes (Gilas 2.0 head coach), who would be your regular starters in the 2013 FIBA-Asia Championships?

Tony Dela Cruz (Small Forward, Alaska Aces) : Pass

Charles Tiu (Powerade and Gilas Assistant Coach): Knowing Coach Chot and the International game, chances are he won’t have a fixed starting line-up especially with the talent that he will be handling but here would be my five:
C – Douthit
PF – Kelly Williams
Sf – James Yap/Chris Lutz
Sg – Marcio Lassiter
Pg – Jvee Casio

*Arwind is tempting but we need size at our PF spot and yes, he is a PF and not SF! Gary David and Alex Cabagnot were tough omissions in the first 5! Jimmy might be a good option but another year would mean even more mileage!

Bekshoot: We know that starting 5’s in international competitions are as volatile as DeMarcus Cousins’ temper. Coaches field varying sets of starters almost every game due to player exhaustion (since FIBA tournament schedules require teams to play quite a number of consecutive games), match-up adjustments and strategies (it always happens that coaches “hide” their Aces in the first part of the tournament). That being said, a coach still sticks to a core of players he trusts the most. So this is how my starting 5 would look like if I was Chot Reyes:

C – Marcus Douthit/Javale McGee
PF – Kelly Williams
SF – Chris Lutz
SG – James Yap
PG – Jvee Casio

But the more important group of five is the one that finishes the game. My “finishing” 5:

C- Marcus Douthit/Javale McGee
PF- Ranidel De Ocampo
SF – Chris Lutz
SG – Marcio Lassiter
PG – Jvee Casio

2. Give two of the hottest national team prospects from college or the amateurs. Why these two?

TDC: I think the 1 guy that comes to mind is Aldrich Ramos.  He is obviously tall but he can shoot and put the ball on the floor.  He seems to have a high basketball I.Q. and with a good weight program he will be a tough player to guard.

Tiu: Greg Slaughter and Kiefer Ravena. Greg because he is the only logical back-up for Marcus Douthit at center (Alaska won’t lend thoss). He’s already played internationally and is still improving.

Kiefer because he is just so skilled and talented and he is no doubt the future of Philippine Basketball. In fact, Toroman really wanted to get him to start training with the team as early as last year.

Bekshoot: With the talent that Kiefer Ravena has, I think he should be a lock for one of the spots that Gilas 2.0 will open for the Sinag members. The other prospect should have legitimate size to back up Douthit or McGee. Right now, it’s a toss up between Junmar Fajardo and Greg Slaughter.

3. Considering the pros and cons of Javale McGee’s game, how do you see him fitting in with the Gilas 2.0 team (if he decides to be a naturalized Filipino)?

TDC: I think McGee is a guy that allows Gilas to get out and run.  He definetly can finish around the rim but he can also defend at the rim and clean up the boards to allow the team to start the break.  I think he will struggle if they need him to make jump shots from beyond 12 to 15 feet but Gilas already has several shooters anyways.

Tiu: He would be a good fit – he rebounds well and will protect the paint, block/alter a lot of shots. That is one of our biggest weaknesses especially when we play bigger teams and Javale could help solve that problem. Also, with the talent of our guards and wing players, they have enough talent to just create for him and set him up for some easy dunks

Bekshoot:  I have apprehensions on getting Javale McGee to play for Gilas 2.0. Since finding out how deep MVP’s pockets are, there’s no other reason for McGee to play for us but for money. Secondly, when it gets dirty and Gilas faces adversity, would he play with heart and toughness? And isn’t he one of the most absent-minded players in the world (over Japeth Aguilar)?

But then again, has he played with heart and mental toughness in the NBA? No. So if he’s able to average a double-double and deny more than two shots a game in the NBA how much more can he get playing against Asians? I’ll take pros over the cons any day!

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