Just two months after the Philippines suffered a major heartbreak in the 31st Southeast Asian Games, the country absorbed another tough blow after failing to advance to the quarterfinal round of the 2022 FIBA Asia Cup.
Gilas Pilipinas bowed to the Japanese by 21 points in a knockout match on Tuesday night for the right to advance to the Top 8 which effectively meant that the team will have its worst finish in the continental showpiece in 15 years.
The country defeated China in the classification phase of the 2007 FIBA Asia Championship to secure 9th place in the 16-nation competition won by Iran.
After the lopsided loss to Japan, Gilas head coach Chot Reyes cited the team’s lack of experience as a key factor in the latest setback.
“Like I said, we brought a very young team here and the experience is just going to make them better,” explained Reyes.
“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. So, like I said, we wished to get at least into the top eight but we weren’t able to get the job done,” he added.
Up next for Gilas is the fourth window of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers which is slated on August 25 to 29.