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2021 FIBA Asia Cup

Chot Reyes apologizes as Gilas fall short of top eight finish


Before leaving for Jakarta, Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes set a modest goal for the national team in the FIBA Asia Cup – just to make the top eight.

After a brutal four games in seven days slate, however, Reyes fell short of his target.

For the first time in 12 years, the Philippines lost to Japan, 81-102, to finish the tournament in ninth place. This is the country’s worst finish in the continental cup since the 2007 edition of the meet held in Tokushima.

Reyes immediately apologized to the country for not meeting expectations once again.

“Well, obviously, the result is not what we wanted. Again, we are very sorry that we’ve disappointed a lot of our countrymen, our fellow Filipinos.”

According to Reyes, Gilas gained valuable lessons in the competition. And this includes how tough the grind of a cup competition is.

“Like I said, we brought a very young team here and the experience is just going to make them better. To be able to be exposed to that kind of intensity and level of play here in the Asia Cup, there is not one player on our team in the 12 players that have been in the Asia Cup. This is all their first time,” lamented Reyes.

“So, like I said, we wished to get at least into the top eight but we weren’t able to get the job done.”

Kiefer Ravena has already played in the World Cup while Ray Parks already played in an Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

2019-FIBA-World-Cup-Gilas-Kiefer-Ravena Chot Reyes apologizes as Gilas fall short of top eight finish 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  - philippine sports news

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Also experiencing OQT competition were RJ Abarrientos, Geo Chiu, William Navarro, SJ Belangel, and Carl Tamayo.

2021-FIBA-OQT-Belgrade-Dominican-Republic-def-Gilas-team Chot Reyes apologizes as Gilas fall short of top eight finish 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  - philippine sports news

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Reyes and Gilas though will only have a month to rest before hitting the road again.

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Come August 25 to 29, the fourth window of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers takes place with Gilas taking on Lebanon in Beirut before hosting Saudi Arabia at home.

And Reyes is hoping that they can execute all the learnings they got in Indonesia against the top teams in the Middle East.

“First of all, give these guys rest and time to recover. We already have a plan in place for the next window. I can’t divulge it here but we already have a plan until August next year. We just have to execute. Like I said, we are operating in very difficult circumstances and a lot of restrictions but we are making do with what we have,” he said.

“In the end, that’s all we can do right? To take what is in front with us and just keep plugging away and hopefully, we continue to develop and get better for the next games.”

Catch Gilas’ games in the 2022 FIBA Asia Cup live on GigaPlay. Download it now on Android or IOS.

Highlights of the games will also be on SMART Sports.

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