Filled with regret was Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes.
Under his watch, the Philippines’ 33-year reign in the Southeast Asian Games’ men’s 5-on-5 basketball tournament came to an end last Sunday after losing to Indonesia, 85-81.
“I personally felt hugely, hugely disappointed. I know that I have let a lot of people down,” Reyes told PlayItRight TV.
“I immediately took responsibility and accountability for the defeat. I really wish that the result were different.”
But with no movements from the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, Reyes remains as head coach and program director of Gilas Men.
And his next task is to build a team from scratch for the third window of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
On July 1, Gilas take on India and then face the Tall Blacks on the third. Both games will be played at the Eventfinda Stadium in Auckland.
By that time, the Philippine Basketball Association will be in the midst of the Philippine Cup, making it impossible to call up local pros for it sans Rain or Shine’s Gian Mamuyac and Shaun Ildefonso; Converge’s Justin Arana; and Terrafirma’s Javi Gomez de Liano.
Meanwhile, the only full-time Gilas player left at the federation’s disposal is William Navarro.
With this predicament, Reyes said that he is planning to call up the cream of both the University Athletic Association of the Philippines and the National Collegiate Athletic Association, along with the country’s overseas imports.
“This coming window, the PBA is ongoing, so now, fortunately, the UAAP and NCAA is done so we are going to send UAAP and NCAA players, mostly,” he said.
“At the same time, we wanted to really have the opportunity to expose, you know, Carl Tamayo, SJ Belangel, Dave Ildefonso, even guys like maybe James Spencer of UP, Justine Baltazar, we really want to be able to expose them to higher-level Asian competition.”