GILAS READY FOR FIBA OLYMPIC QUALIFYING WITH NO FEAR, SAYS HEADING
With its upcoming FIBA Olympic Qualifying campaign, Jordan Heading underlines young Gilas pool has become fearless and is more than prepared heading to its Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) stint where it will face Serbia and Dominican Republic.
“I don’t think our team goes into any game with any fear. I think that’s what’s really awesome about, even though we have young guys, these guys really don’t have any fear,” stressed the PBA Gilas draftee.
“If they have an open shot, they’re going to take it. If they have an open lane, they’re going to take it. I think we just love the game of basketball. We realized these guys, they put their socks on one foot at a time just like we do. They’ve got strengths, but they’ve also got weaknesses and we try to highlight those,” he continued.
Gilas have shown their developed fearless attitude during an untelevised tune-up game last Wednesday where it took on China at the AUF Sports and Cultural Center in Angeles City, Pampanga.
Gilas Pilipinas settled for a 79-all draw with China in a friendly game where RJ Abarrientos, Justine Baltazar, and Heading spearheaded the squad without star players Dwight Ramos and Carl Tamayo.
“It’s the rest of the team. If you look at the scores, there was no one that scored 25 or whatever, it was pretty even. What we’ve been saying this whole time, next man up,” Heading highlighted, saying it is a balanced effort.
“Right from the first practice in the bubble, we really focused on our defensive principles. Coach Tab really hammered into us what he wants from us on that end and when to deny the ball and who we want to have the ball at certain times and things like that. That was really easy for us to kind of bring into our culture and make it an identity for us,” The Fil-Australian averred.
“It’s actually the first time that I’ve ever been on a team where we’re probably stronger on the defensive than the offensive end and obviously, it’s working out,” he added.
Though China provided a great tuneup, Heading is still hopeful for Ramos’ quick recovery and reminded that Gilas Pilipinas should be more prepared as it will compete against bigger foes in the OQT in Belgrade where it will face powerhouse countries, Serbia and the Dominican Republic.
“It was good. There were some really big bodies so it was a really good preparation game going up to the Olympic qualifiers. There are going to be some bigger boys than the ones we faced here in the Asian qualifiers. It was a fun game, real physical, it’s always good to get out there and play a game,” said Heading.
“Hopefully, Dwight will heal up real good from his injury. We’ve got his back just like he’s got ours.”