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Guiao: European big men spell difference

Former Gilas Pilipinas coach Yeng Guiao believes the solid big men of European teams playing in the FIBA World Cup are the biggest factors in dislodging the United States. (Photo from Jones Cup)

Former Gilas Pilipinas head coach Yeng Guiao believes the abundance of skilled big men from Europe is the reason why the United States failed to make the final of the FIBA World Cup.

In fact, Guiao, who coaches Rain or Shine in the Philippine Basketball Association, was not surprised when Germany wound up beating the Americans to arrange an all-European final clash with Serbia.

“The US admitted that they didn’t send the best players for the FIBA World Cup, but that doesn’t mean they sent pushovers. They still sent a talented team. They sent the next best talented players,” Guiao told Daily Tribune in a telephone conversation.

Germany fielded a team spiked with NBA talent.

Dennis Schroder is the heart and soul of the squad with the Wagner brothers – Moritz and Franz – and Daniel Theis shoring up Germany’s solid roster.

But Germany also got a big boost from its top gun, Andreas Obst, who led six players ending up in double figures in dealing the United States a heartbreaker, 113-111, on Friday night.

Guiao, who coached Gilas to a winless campaign and fell ambush to the more superior, more prepared teams from different parts of the world four years ago, had seen the difference why European teams had been dominating the FIBA World Cup.

“It’s clear that the advantage of the Europeans are the more skilled big men,” said Guiao.

“The US didn’t have a Joel Embiid or a Bam Adebayo to match up with the highly-skilled big men on the European side – the Moritz brothers and Theis from Germany, (Nikola) Milutinov of Serbia or even Jonas Valunciunas of Lithuania,” said Guiao.

“The skill set of those big men from Europe was the difference because the guards of the US can be easily matched up by teams from the rest of the world, but their big men couldn’t hold their own against their counterparts. They only have Jarren Jackson, Paolo Banchero and

Walker Kesler to rely on up front and we know they’re not the best big men in the NBA.”

The Americans won the World Cup five times since the event was created in 1950, the last one was in 2014 in Seville, Spain.

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