FIBA World Cup Qualifiers: Speed is PH men's basketball team's advantage against tall Iranians, says coach

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 11) — Despite the lack of height, the Philippine men's basketball team clearly has an edge in terms of quickness against Iran in the second round of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers.

This is according to coach Yeng Guiao, who is optimistic that the national squad's fast-paced style, could spell the difference in their meeting.

"Ang advantage natin yung speed natin. Sana ma-sustain natin yun at marami tayong magaling na three-point shooters. We're hoping na pumasok yung mga outside shots natin," the fiery mentor told CNN Philippines Monday.

[Translation: Our advantage is speed. I hope our outside shots will fall because we have good three-point shooters.]

Guiao pointed out that if they can outrun the Iranian side which is anchored by former NBA cager, 7-foot-2 Hamed Haddadi, then the playing field would be even.

"Takbuhan natin, malalaki yung mga yun at beterano. Yung sentro nila galing NBA."

[Translation: We'll run because they are tall and have veteran players. Their center is from the NBA.]

If the Philippines can keep the score close, Guiao feels they could pull off a win against the Asian powerhouse.

"Malakas yang Iran lalo na kapag nasa home court sila. Ang pakiramdam ko kaya natin ma-disgrasya ito, maka-dikit lang tayo hanggang huli, may pag asa tayong manalo."

[Translation: Iran is strong especially when the have home court. But I feel we can beat them if we stay close until the end.]

The national team currently occupies third spot with a 4-2 win-loss record in Group E.

The Philippines will face Iran at Azady Gym, Tehran on September 13.