The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) has expressed its ‘disappointment’ after Gilas Pilipinas stumbled down to 9th place in the 2022 FIBA Asia Cup.
Prior to the worst finish in the continental showpiece in 15 years, the Philippine national basketball team failed to defend the gold medal in the 31st edition of the Southeast Asia Games – thus ending the country’s 31-year reign as kings of men’s basketball in the region.
Despite the string of heartbreaking defeats, the SBP affirmed its support for embattled head coach Chot Reyes.
“Gilas head coach Chot Reyes had no excuses for the dismal showing but the outcome could’ve been different if top scorer Dwight Ramos and naturalized player Ange Kouame suited up,” said the federation through a statement released on Friday.
“He said the team began practice last July 6, a week before the Philippines’ first game against Lebanon and Poy Erram, the only active PBA player on the roster, attended only thrice.”
“Any coach would’ve backed off from the challenge but Reyes chose to play the cards he was dealt with in keeping his commitment to the country and SBP,” they added.
Up next for Gilas is the fourth window of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers set this coming August. The Philippine squad will take on Lebanon in Beirut on the 25th before a home game against Saudi Arabia on the 29th.