MANILA, Philippines – Uncertainties continue to hound Gilas Pilipinas for the second window of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asia qualifiers after South Korea’s last-minute pullout on Tuesday, February 22.
Following the stunning development a mere two days before the start of the event at the Araneta Coliseum, national team head coach Chot Reyes is left to do nothing but stay prepared for future developments.
“Obviously it throws a monkey wrench in our preparations because we have been preparing for Korea the past couple of days… for the past week actually. Having said that, we’d like to think that we built this team on versatility,” he said in a recent Instagram video.
“Agility was one of the very first things we talked about in our very first day of practice, and how we really need to be prepared for whatever jobs because what we’ve learned in this environment that we are playing in now is that you can never really know what to expect. And this is one such thing.”
Gilas was supposed to match up against South Korea twice on Thursday, February 24, and Monday, February 28. Right now, the Asian powerhouse is reportedly facing forfeiture of all their games due to their pullout, and Gilas will now be left to face India and New Zealand.
“Right now the best thing that we can do is stay ready to be prepared. And the only thing we can focus on is our own health. We’re very happy that the RT-PCR response came out today [and] we are all negative,” Reyes continued.
“That was my message to the players. Let’s focus on the things that we can control right now. That is our preparation, our health, to stay focused mentally, and also to be emotionally prepared for whatever the schedule is.”
As it stands, Gilas will still face India on Friday, February 25, and New Zealand on Sunday, February 27. – Rappler.com