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Gilas SEAG coach Uichico upbeat on posting first win vs tough Thailand

MANILA, Philippines — Coach Jong Uichico would rather face Thailand later in the Southeast Asian Games. But it’s the card he was dealt.

“I’d rather not (face them early),” the longtime national team tactician said shortly after the SEAG-boud Gilas squad defeated the NU Bulldogs in their last tune-up game.

SEAGames-bound Gilas head coach Jong Uichico chats with members of the press during their last tuneup game at the Meralco Gym, Wednesday | Philstar.com
“[I’d] rather (see the team) progress as the tournament goes on. But that’s the draw,” he added.

“If we probably had more time to practice, then yes. But that’s the draw. The FIBA Asia had the same (circumstance) — they played China right away. They were able to win and we’re in the next round. We can do it din naman,” the 55-year-old Uichico said.

Gilas will be opening their bid to retain the SEA Games crown against Thailand — who once gave the Nationals a cardiac climb en route to the gold medal game. Almond Vosotros and Kiefer Ravena figured as the heroes of that 80-75 victory.

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