Gilas vows to keep fighting
SEVILLE, Spain – Gilas Pilipinas is down 0-2 in the FIBA World Championship, but what the record doesn't show is how the Philippines has been able to keep up with best of the world.
Rodneil Quiteles files this report.
The Philippines is back in the world basketball stage after 36 long years.
Against the 4th best European team Croatia, Gilas puts up a gallant stand, pushing the game to overtime before losing by three points, 81 to 78.
The following game, Gilas was up against a team ranked 5th best in the world — Greece.
Head coach Chot Reyes knew it was not going to be easy.
CHOT REYES, GILAS HEAD COACH: We knew coming in that Greece was going to be tougher than Croatia…We had no illusions about, you know, oh we played well last night so maybe we’ll catch Greece off guard tonight. We had no illusions, We will come in, very well prepared
Gilas defends against the Greeks, but also struggles to sink the shots, leaning heavily on naturalized big man Andray Blatche, who leads the team in scoring and rebounding, despite an injury.
Forward Gabe Norwood says the big man has a big heart.
GABE NORWOOD, GILAS FORWARD: You wouldn’t expect anything less. His heart is with us and he shows it out there on the court. He plays every possession as hard as he can.
Gilas lost to Greece, 82 to 70 and will face Argentina next — the team regarded as the best in Gilas’ bracket.
There are tougher challenges ahead but with the support of a large Filipino crowd in Spain, the team vows to give it all they have.
CHOT REYES, GILAS HEAD COACH: At the start we were foolish enough to dream that we can compete with these teams so, we’ll just be foolish all the way
GABE NORWOOD, GILAS FORWARD: We play to the end. I think that’s just our culture. That’s how we know what to do. We just keep fighting.
Rodneil Quiteles, Rappler, Spain. – Rappler.com