Coach Tab Baldwin admitted Gilas Pilipinas got beaten by Dominican Republic on all fronts as they crashed out of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) in Serbia without a win.
Holding a slim lead at halftime, the Filipinos fizzled out in the last two quarters and allowed the Dominicans to cruise to a 94-67 victory and reach the OQT semifinals.
"No excuses and not much to say about it other than that we were outplayed, outcoached, and outgunned," said Baldwin.
"You got to give the Dominican Republic credit for the way that they played and doing what they had to do to win and win convincingly."
Following its near-upset of mighty Serbia, the Philippines went into the Dominican Republic clash with the expectation to compete and win.
After all, the Serbians drubbed the Dominicans by 18 points, while the Filipinos lost only by 7 points.
But the Dominican Republic – led by veterans Victor Liz and Gelvis Solano – delivered a statement against the Philippines by turning a two-point halftime deficit to a 27-point blowout win.
Dominican Republic outscored the Philippines, 55-26, in the second half.
"Everybody gets excited about the fact that we played for our country and played for our flag, sometimes I think we forget, so do the other teams," Baldwin said.
"There is an awful lot of pride in the other teams and virtually every international basketball team that plays for their country."
"When their pride is challenged, you should expect a very, very hard response. We got that in the second half."
Baldwin and Gilas Pilipinas will now turn their focus on the FIBA Asia Cup, which will be hosted by Indonesia in August.
"We will now hit home with lessons in our pocket," Baldwin said.
"A sort of a mixed campaign here with a decent performance against Serbia and disappointing performance tonight, but these young men will work hard together."
"We'll take this on the chin and we'll try to learn our lessons and build for the future," Baldwin added. – Rappler.com
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.