MANILA, Philippines – Should Gilas Pilipinas require some help in the run-up to the 2019 FIBA World Cup, Chot Reyes said he’s open to provide some suggestions.
The former national team mentor, who steered the Philippines to the World Cup in 2014 following a 36-year drought, said he has been discussing plans for the global hoops tilt with current Philippine coach Yeng Guiao.
“Coach Yeng and I have been communicating by text and we’re going to sit down soon to figure out if I can help in any way, just to give some inputs, some stuff to think about,” Reyes said on Wednesday, March 20.
“Whatever help he needs, I’m more than willing to give it.” (READ: Chot optimistic Gilas can reach next level in FIBA World Cup)
One thing Reyes believes the Philippines can benefit from is battling against world-class teams, just like his Gilas squad did before the 2014 World Cup. (READ: FAST FACTS: Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA World Cup)
“[N]oong nag-pocket tournament kami, when we played France, dinikitan kami until the last quater pero the next day, binugbog kami ng Ukraine and then binugbog kami ng Australia. Pero it was fine because na-feel namin na binugbog kami.”
(When we played France in a pocket tournament, we were able to keep up until the last quarter but on the next day, we were beaten badly by Ukraine and Australia. But it was fine because we felt we were beaten up.)
“But when we got down to Madrid and Guadalajara, sinabayan naman namin ‘yung Venezuela, Dominican Republic, all those strong teams. Talo pa rin, pero at least sumasabay, nafi-feel ng players gumagaling sila, lumalakas sila, nakakasabay.”
(When we got to Madrid and Guadalajara, we were able to keep up with Venezuela, Dominican Republic, all those strong teams. We still lost but at least we were able to play at their level and the players felt they were becoming stronger.)
“And I think that feeling spilled over sa actual World Cup. So noong pagdating noong actual laban, the players had a very good feeling about themselves,” Reyes said.
(I think that feeling spilled over in the World Cup. So during the actual games, the players had a very good feeling about themselves.)
Although the Philippines won only against Senegal in its 5 World Cup games, it lost by an average of only 3.3 points to Croatia, Argentina and Puerto Rico. Its lone double-digit loss came against Greece.
“It’s very important for this team to get that same feeling going into the competition. They should have a good feeling about themselves that they can compete with anybody, with those teams we’re playing against,” Reyes added.
The Philippines is bunched with Serbia, Italy and Angola in Group D in the World Cup, which will be staged starting August 31 in China. (READ: (LOOK: NBA players Gilas may face in FIBA World Cup) – Rappler.com
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