Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Tiebreaker Times

2023 FIBA World Cup

Chot looks to form ‘best team possible’ as Gilas face familiar foes

With the draw for the 2023 FIBA World Cup now over, Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes is shifting his focus to building “the best team” for the biggest stage.

The Philippines has been drawn against Italy, Dominican Republic, and Angola in Group A of the World Cup to be held in Manila in August.

Reyes made it clear that they will select a group of players to make the best possible team to oppose the three countries Gilas will face, not just the most talented players.

“We’re not picking the best talent, we’re picking the best team,” shared Reyes moments after the draw on Saturday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum, which will host Group A and Group B.

“We’re putting the best team together, not just a group of superstars. We want to pick the best team possible.”

The Philippines has faced all the other teams in Group A in the last cycle, with Italy and Angola in the 2019 World Cup, while meeting the Dominican Republic in the Olympics Qualifying Tournament in 2021.

However, all games resulted in losses for Gilas Pilipinas, which was coached by Yeng Guiao in the last World Cup and by Tab Baldwin in the OQT.

Angola escaped with an 84-81 overtime win, Italy stamped its might with a 108-62 victory, while the Dominican Republic also had its way with a 94-67 triumph.

With the recent history against them, Reyes said that it would be a double-edged sword.

2019-FIBA-WC-Gilas-vs-Italy Chot looks to form 'best team possible' as Gilas face familiar foes 2023 FIBA World Cup Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  - philippine sports news


“It goes both ways. We know them, and they know us as well,” said Reyes, who is about to enter his second World Cup, having led the country in 2014.

#ReadMore  NCAA 98: CSB ends 20-year Finals drought, eliminates San Beda

Meeting familiar foes, it will all boil down to preparation according to the veteran tactician, which also means getting floor time against competitive teams for a tuneup.

Reyes used the 2014 Gilas team that turned heads in Spain as a comparison, having played tune-up games against France, Australia, Ukraine, Angola, Egypt, and the Dominican Republic.

2014-FIBA-World-Cup-Gilas-June-Mar-Fajardo-x-Marc-Pingris Chot looks to form 'best team possible' as Gilas face familiar foes 2023 FIBA World Cup Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  - philippine sports news

Photo from

“In the end, that’s really going to be determined by how well we can prepare, how well we can get together, play together, and how many quality tuneup games we can get before the actual World Cup,” said Reyes.

“I think that’s what’s going to be the most important because that’s what we were able to do in 2014. We were able to put up a good tuneup preparation schedule so that when it came World Cup time in 2014, we were playing at a very high level, so hopefully, we can get to that level as well.

Reyes revealed that there are already two planned training camps for Gilas Pilipinas for the World Cup, but he did not divulge the details yet. He mentioned a June and a July training camp.

More than looking at who the Philippines will face, Reyes is equally interested in which group our Asian neighbors will be slotted in as the best team that will come out from the region will automatically qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“I was also looking at the other groups right because it’s important that our other Asian competitors are in tough groups because the best Asian team is the one that goes to the Olympics,” he said.

“I think China is in a good group. They drew South Sudan. Iran, I think, drew Ivory Coast. Those are teams they can beat. Remember, our objective here is to get to the Olympics in 2024, that’s the goal, that’s the dream. Hopefully, we can get a win or two this World Cup to give us a chance to qualify.”

China is in Group B along with South Sudan, Serbia, and Puerto Rico. Jordan is in Group C with USA, Greece, and New Zealand, while Japan is in Group E with Germany, Finland, and Australia.

#ReadMore  Thirdy Ravena on returning despite bad fall: 'Ayoko na i-let down yung team'

Iran is in Group G with Ivory Coast, Brazil, and Spain, while Lebanon is in Group H with Canada, Latvia, and France.

Reyes, though, is aware of the odds and knows that placing as the best Asian team will be difficult.

“Hindi medyo mahirap, mahirap na mahirap. Very very. “

The Philippines will first face the Dominican Republic on August 25 at the Philippine Arena, then Angola on the 27th at the Big Dome, before meeting Italy on the 29th.

Written By

Just a kid from Cavite trying to make a difference.

You May Also Like

2023 FIBA World Cup

Injuries and players on break hampered the supposed first day of Gilas Pilipinas’ preparations for the 2023 FIBA World Cup. Fourteen of players arrived...

2023 FIBA World Cup

The final 21 players that will compose Gilas Pilipinas for the 2023 FIBA World Cup were unveiled on Tuesday evening. Composing the pool are...

2023 FIBA World Cup

Two more NBA all-stars have committed to Team USA for the upcoming 2023 FIBA World Cup. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Tuesday that Brandon...

2023 FIBA World Cup

Team USA’s roster for the 2023 FIBA World Cup is starting to shape up. In a report by Shams Charania of The Athletic, six...

2023 FIBA World Cup

ANTIPOLO – CJ Perez suited up for San Miguel in their PBA On Tour game against the debuting Ginebra, Sunday night. The star guard...

2023 FIBA World Cup

ANTIPOLO – Meralco is hoping to see Chris Newsome get a chance of making it to the Gilas Pilipinas team bound for the FIBA...

2023 FIBA World Cup

Now in the midst of the final stretch in the preparations for the 2023 FIBA World Cup, all eyes are on Kai Sotto. The...

2023 FIBA World Cup

The last stop for this batch of Gilas Pilipinas is about to end in just two months. Come August 25, the culmination of four...