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Chot says sorry after disappointing Gilas run

Chot Reyes (FIBA Photo) 

Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes apologized after another disappointing run for the national team that saw them miss out on a quarterfinals spot in the FIBA Asia Cup.

“Obviously the result is not what we wanted and we’re sorry that we’ve disappointed a lot of our countrymen, our fellow Filipinos,” said Reyes after Gilas absorbed a 102-81 drubbing at the hands of Japan in the knockout qualifiers on Wednesday, July 20, in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The Filipinos wrapped up their campaign in the continental showpiece with a 1-3 record, only winning against India and taking blowout losses to Lebanon and New Zealand in the group stage.

The Akatsuki Five’s victory was also its first win against the Philippine national team in 12 years or since the Japanese defeated the Filipinos in the 2010 Asian Games. Gilas then went on to win the next six encounters in FIBA-sanctioned tournaments.

Japan proved to be the better team this time around, racing to a double-digit lead right off the bat and never looked back to maul the struggling Filipinos.

Despite the painful defeat, Reyes stayed defiant, saying that the experience will just make the young Gilas core tougher for the bigger tournaments ahead.

“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 in the Asia Cup,” said Reyes.

“There’s not one player on our team, the 12 players have never been to the Asia Cup. They are all first time so like I said we wish we could get at least to the Top 8 but we weren’t able to get the job done,” said Reyes.

“So very little to say Japan came out with a great game plan and credit to them for the game they played.”

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