Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes admitted that a tall task awaits the national team in the 2022 FIBA Asia Cup in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The Philippines is in Group D alongside New Zealand, India, and Lebanon.
And Reyes made it known as early as now that it’s not going to be easy for the Nationals.
“When we arrive there, there’s this huge huge task ahead of us. We’re in a very tough group,” said Reyes, who will leave for Indonesia tomorrow together with Poy Erram. They just finished TNT’s schedule today with a 106-92 win over Ginebra.
New Zealand has proven that it has the country’s number recently crushing the Philippines, 106-60, in the third window of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers last June 30.
Lebanon meanwhile is playing at a high level, according to Reyes.
“Lebanon is playing the best I’ve seen in recent years, their team is really stacked. They’re playing very high-level basketball, it will take our best to just be able to compete with that team,” he said.
“We know how tough New Zealand is, and India as you saw is no pushover as well.”
India held its own against Gilas here at the SM Mall of Asia Arena last week, losing by just 16, 63-79.
“We just want to manage everyone’s expectations,” said the veteran tactician.
“We’re going to try our best to get to the top eight of the FIBA Asia Cup but the objective really is to take a look at the players that we have on this team and look at their continued development.
“(Just) continue our process of finding out what’s it going to take to ensure we have the best team for 2023,” he added.
Not helping Gilas’ cause is the sudden unavailability of leading scorer Dwight Ramos, who is out with shin splints.
“We tried Dwight up to Friday, sinubukan pa niya and every day naman he’s been trying so noong Friday, hindi niya kinaya so we had to make a decision yesterday,” he said.
“Kasama si Rhenz sa byahe pero we will only find out if maapprove siya in the technical meeting tomorrow. You can change for medical purposes eh dala naman ‘yung medical certificate ni Dwight, hopefully, the organizing committee approves.”