Chot Reyes pleased with Gilas Pilipinas despite loss to Estonia: ‘Good first step’

Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes was largely pleased with his team’s performance in Tuesday’s loss to Estonia, considering it was their first exhibition match.

The Nationals fought back from a large deficit to make the game competitive before succumbing to the hosts, 81-71. Reyes praised the team’s tenacity.

“We were down 20 and still we showed a lot of fight, putting ourselves within a basket,” said Reyes during an interview with Carlo Pamintuan. “We were three points down and we played the fourth without Justin Brownlee who suffered cramps already by that time.”

“Good first step. Very, very happy,” he added.

Reyes stated that the team entered the game with low expectations because they are in the early stages of preparation for the FIBA World Cup.

Even with the positives, Reyes believes there is a great deal of room for improvement, especially in terms of team chemistry, as the absence of it led to numerous turnovers.

“Going to this ballgame, we knew we still have a long way to go. Still a lot of work to be done because this is a work in progress. Can’t ask for more,” said Reyes.

“Unfortunately, we had 23 turnovers. But that’s expected. This is our first game together as a team. I told the players we can expect that our offense is going to struggle and those 23 turnovers reflected that,” he added.

Gilas concludes its tune-up series against Finland in Tallinn on Thursday evening.

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