FIBA World Cup

Gilas Pilipinas to fix turnover woes with more time together, says Chot Reyes

Delfin Dioquino
Gilas Pilipinas to fix turnover woes with more time together, says Chot Reyes

ERROR-PLAGUED. Turnovers doom Chot Reyes and Gilas Pilipinas in its narrow loss to Lebanon.

FIBA

'We gave it our best shot, unfortunately, the results did not come out our way,' says Chot Reyes as Gilas Pilipinas falls short against Lebanon

MANILA, Philippines – Turnovers killed it for Gilas Pilipinas as it fell short of what would have been its biggest win of the year against Lebanon.

The error-plagued Filipinos coughed up 21 turnovers and saw the Lebanese eke out an 85-81 home win in the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers on Thursday, August 25 (Friday, August 26, Manila time).

Off to a hot start behind NBA star Jordan Clarkson and Dwight Ramos, the Philippines squandered a 10-point lead as the Cedars tallied 22 points off turnovers en route to defending its home court in Beirut.

“[I]’m very proud of the way our team played. I thought we battled hard and we competed. Unfortunately, we had too many turnovers,” said Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes.

For Reyes, the players’ unfamiliarity with each other played a huge part in their offensive miscues as the national team trained for the fourth window in just less than two weeks.

Clarkson and Kai Sotto reunited with Gilas Pilipinas a week before the Lebanon game, while Japeth Aguilar joined team practices even later after testing positive for the coronavirus.

“[T]hat is just a result of us not yet as familiar with each other as we’d like to be,” said Reyes, who briefly left TNT in the ongoing PBA Philippine Cup finals to coach the national team.

“If we get some more time, some more practice time together, then we should be able to address that.”

Still, Reyes expressed satisfaction with the way his wards played against a fearsome Lebanese crew that won silver in the recent FIBA Asia Cup.

The Cedars nearly ruled the Asia Cup, losing by only two points to defending champion Australia in the gold medal match.

“I’m very happy with the way we played. We gave it our best shot, unfortunately, the results did not come out our way,” Reyes said.

Dropping to 2-3 in Group E, Gilas Pilipinas gets a shot to redeem itself as it hosts Saudi Arabia at the Mall of Asia Arena on Monday, August 29, to conclude the fourth window. – Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.