Chot Reyes apologized to the Filipino nation after Gilas Pilipinas suffered another devastating blow in the international scene.
The Philippine national basketball team absorbed a 21-point beating at the hands of the Japanese to formally bow out of competition in the 2022 FIBA Asia Cup.
“Well, obviously, the result is not what we wanted. Again, we are very sorry that we’ve disappointed a lot of our countrymen, our fellow Filipinos,” said Reyes shortly after the lopsided loss.
“Like I said, we brought a very young team here and the experience is just going to make them better. To be able to be exposed to that kind of intensity and level of play here in the Asia Cup, there is not one player on our team in the 12 players that have been in the Asia Cup. This is all their first time,” he added.
“So, like I said, we wished to get at least into the top 8 but we weren’t able to get the job done.”
Japan had not beaten the Philippines in the FIBA Asia Cup for nearly two decades, with the Akatsuki Five’s last win coming during the 2003 Asian Basketball Confederation Championship.
Reyes and the young Gilas squad has only about a month to rest and recuperate as up next is the fourth window of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
“First of all, give these guys rest and time to recover. We already have a plan in place for the next window. I can’t divulge it here but we already have a plan until August next year. We just have to execute. Like I said, we are operating in very difficult circumstances and a lot of restrictions but we are making do with what we have,” explained the TNT Tropang Giga mentor.
“In the end, that’s all we can do right? To take what is in front with us and just keep plugging away and hopefully, we continue to develop and get better for the next games,” he added.