F Smart Gilas Pilipinas shoots for 5th straight win - Powcast Sports

Smart Gilas Pilipinas shoots for 5th straight win

source: PBA.ph 
Smart-Gilas Pilipinas is making heads turn – just the way Rajko Toroman had envisioned it.

The Serbian coach contends the Nationals have an opportunity to play in tournaments abroad inpreparation for the upcoming FIBA-Asia Championship, which serves as qualifying tournament for the Olympics.

But he didn’t pursue that option. Instead he kept Smart-Gilas Pilipinas at home believing they could accomplish their goal by playing in the 2011 PBA Commisioner’s Cup as a guest team.

More importantly, Toroman said, he wants the Filipinos to appreciate the efforts of the Nationals in their desire to bring honor to the country.

Filipinos in Dubai and in other places in the Middle East love Smart-Gilas. They said they are proud of the team,” Toroman said.

The Nationals have spent the last couple of years competing abroad so people here [in the Philippines] really have no idea how good they are.

“Now we start playing here. So fans of basketball could see what we are doing and how we can play,” Toroman said.

And as he had expected, the Nationals are making an impact in the PBA backyard.

To date, Smart-Gilas Pilipinas is the only unbeaten team in the 10-team pack with a league-leading 4-0 record. It’s hard not to appreciate the Nationals’ accomplishment because those victories came against potential title contenders Talk N’ Text, Alaska, San Miguel and Air21.

We have a quality. We work hard. And I think we have come to this situation where we can win against PBA teams,” proclaimed Toroman, who believes they are almost in the playoffs.

There’s no doubt the National are well headed to the playoffs. But it’s interesting to see how will they handle a team that plays tough like Rain or Shine.

“Rain or Shine is a good team. They have one of the best imports and I expect a very difficult game,” said Toroman of their 5 p.m. Friday encounter against the Elasto Painters at the Araneta Coliseum.

That ROS’ three game winning streak has been snapped following their 78-99 setback to TnT last Sunday makes the Elasto Painters even more dangerous in their bid to get back on track.

Toroman said the Nationals are encountering some manpower problems. He said 6-foot-11 Greg Slaughter is sick and is doubtful to play. That goes with Mark Baracael, who is still hurting in his shooting hand. John Aldrech Ramos, on the other hand, could not join their practice session because of his academic commitments.

“But we will try to win the game,” Toroman said. (DBC)


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