Chot Reyes takes blame for disappointing Asian Games stint
Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes’ tone was far different from the day earlier after Gilas suffered their third straight loss in the Asian Games men’s basketball tournament on Saturday afternoon.
There was none of the outrage that saw him single out naturalized center Marcus Douthit after losing to Qatar when Reyes addressed the media following the loss to South Korea. In its place was remorse, as the team’s chances of winning its first gold medal at the Asiad in 50 years faded away.
“The entire responsibility falls on my shoulders. I want to apologize to our people,” Reyes said at the post-game press conference.
Gilas, which came into the 17th Asian Games with high expectations after a 1-4 campaign in the recently concluded FIBA World Cup, gave up a 16-point lead in the third quarter without calling a timeout before falling 97-95 to their continental rivals.
"When we were up by ten or nine, we wanted to win and win by a certain margin. We were going for the point differential,” said Reyes.
“Today we got the 16-point lead with our 3-point shooting. But that's the danger. You live and die by it. That's basketball.”
Team captain Jimmy Alapag scored 25 points while LA Tenorio added 20 and Jeff Chan scored 16 while Douthit didn’t play a single second.
“I’m very proud of my boys. They came out and fought hard. We fought up to the very end,” Reyes said.
Gilas will play one more game against Kazakhstan on Sunday, September 28 at 3 pm PH time before concluding their run. Reyes told the press that Douthit’s benching was due to “disciplinary reasons” and that it was only for a game.
June Mar Fajardo started in his place, finishing with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
"June Mar played really well. I'm very proud of his game. We get more games like that from Fajardo, we'll be okay," said Reyes.
The Philippine national team, which rose to a FIBA world ranking of 31 after the World Cup, is now 2-7 since the beginning of the World Cup. - Rappler.com