Former Gilas mentor Toroman impressed with current crop of national team players

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 10) — Former Gilas Pilipinas head coach Rajko Toroman said he liked what he saw when he went up against the national team in a tune-up game last Monday.

The seasoned mentor called the shots for Mighty Sports as both itself and the national team prepare for their respective international tournaments.

Gilas will compete in the FIBA World Cup this August in China, while Mighty Sports will participate in the Jones Cup in Taiwan this month.

Toroman said the national team roster has the top cagers the country has to offer.

"They have the best players in this moment," he told CNN Philippines Sports Desk.

With the Philippines booking its second straight ticket to the World Cup, Toroman said the country is slowly emerging as one of the powerhouse squads in Asia.

"I think that the Philippines is starting to be very powerful country in Asia. They're developing day by day. And I expect their performance in the World Cup will be good," he said.

The 64-year-old Serbian noticed that the support of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) has become vital to the national team program.

"Now I can see the PBA players, even during the season, they're coming, practicing, and preparing for the World Cup," he said.

Toroman said the talent level of Asian countries is catching up with their European counterparts. Out of the 32 nations in the World Cup, eight are from Asia while 12 are from Europe.

"The gap between Asian and European teams is not that big, the difference is not so big like before," he said.

The 2019 FIBA World Cup will run from August 31 to September 15.