MANILA, Philippines — If there’s one piece of advice Ricky Rubio would give to Gilas Pilipinas, it is for them to emulate the NBA champions Golden State Warriors.
It’s no secret that Gilas Pilipinas has one of the smaller lineups, but the 24-year-old Minnesota Timberwolves player said the Filipinos could use this as an advantage against taller players.
“You see, smaller players can go on a faster pace,” cited Rubio at Bonifacio Global City during his adidas Take on Manila tour.
“[And] you can see the Golden State Warriors winning the NBA title and all they do is just to try shoot the ball… play a fast-paced tempo of the game.”
The Warriors’ title win over LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers is the biggest story in the NBA this year. Their small ball tactics enabled them to win their first NBA crown in 40 years.
The 24-year-old Rubio, who was drafted fifth overall by the Timberwolves in 2009, is in Manila for a three-day tour for sports apparel adidas.
He is regarded as the best European guard prospect ever and was even compared by some to Pete Maravich.
Rubio, who averages 10.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, 8.2 assists and 2.3 steals in four NBA seasons, is set to play some pickup games with set of streetballers in Manila.
The Spaniard said Gilas Pilipinas was such a hot item during the 2014 FIBA World Cup that he followed some of their games.
“I watched a lot of the Philippines last year when they were in Spain playing in the World Cup,” said Rubio.
Rubio himself played for their national team and was part of the Spanish squad that won silver in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
He noted similarities between international basketball and the NBA’s style of play, but the former tends to be a bit slower.
“I think that international ball is a little different from the NBA. International ball is more like five-on-five, more down-tempo game,” said rubio.
“But like I said, the game is changing right now. Everyone is playing the NBA way, fast-paced, more on 1-on-1.”
Source: ABS-CBN News