Chot Reyes Downplays the Importance of Gilas Victory Over Ivory Coast
To fine-tune their performance for the forthcoming [Angola] encounter, Gilas Pilipinas faced off against Ivory Coast and won 85-62. National coach Chot Reyes, on the other hand, remained reserved in his response, claiming that this game did not have the same weight as the looming World Cup challenge.
Reyes, commenting immediately after the game, emphasized Angola’s characteristics, particularly their assertive defensive posture, aggressive guard play and inside and outside shooting skills. When comparing the two opponents, Reyes emphasized Angola’s more excellent shooting skill, drawing a significant gap between the two. Despite the massive victory over Ivory Coast, Coach Reyes refrained from the open celebration due to his team’s error-prone performance at Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
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Addressing the offensive hiccups that plagued the game, Reyes acknowledged the team’s chronic flaws in execution, most notably their 18 turnovers. He realized the need to correct this facet of their game to create a more seamless performance in the next bouts.
Reyes refuted any suggestion that his squad was under pressure, underlining the comfort they found in fielding the three of Jordan Clarkson, Kai Sotto, and Scottie Thompson. While recognizing Clarkson’s mistakes, Reyes voiced confidence in his growth in future games. Despite the latter’s ongoing recovery from back difficulties, he praised Thompson’s agility and Sotto’s vital contribution.
Taking the Lead
Clarkson finished with 13 points, sharing the lead with June Mar Fajardo, a six-time PBA Most Valuable Player and a steady presence in the training group. Sotto’s performance was also noteworthy, as he scored in the double digits alongside AJ Edu. Thompson demonstrated his abilities with 11 points, four rebounds, and five assists, seemingly unaffected by his earlier hand injury.
Late Arrivals in the Fold
Clarkson, Sotto, and Thompson were the final members of the training team to return, with only five days until the crucial games. Reyes hoped their presence would help smooth the team’s rough edges.
An Upcoming Obstacle
The Gilas will next play Montenegro, a squad famed for its height advantage and boosted by NBA talent. The upcoming clash, planned for 8 p.m. on Sunday, promises to put Gilas to the test against a powerful foe.
Reyes highlighted Montenegro’s obvious distinctions, noting their toughness and dedication to European-style gameplay. Reyes listed Nikola Vucevic, a proven NBA starter, as one of Montenegro’s key players. Despite the anticipated difficulties, Reyes wanted to improve their prior performance.
Getting Ready for the Big Show
As Gilas wraps up its pre-World Cup preparations with a match against Mexico, the squad prepares for the ultimate challenge: playing the 23rd-ranked Dominican Republic in the tournament opener. Even after a three-match winning streak, Gilas realizes the need to improve their performance against more challenging opponents.
Following a stunning victory against Canada, the Dominican Republic begins the competition with vigor. The outstanding play of NBA player Karl-Anthony Towns, who scored 20 points on efficient shooting, boosted the Caribbean team’s confidence.
Gilas also expected a meeting against Italy, rated 10th in the world, and has gone unbeaten in their pre-season matches.
Increasing Horizons As the FIBA World Cup approaches, Gilas Pilipinas finds itself at a crossroads. With their path shaped by successes, tribulations, and lessons, the squad prepares to exhibit their perfected gaming on the world stage. They hope to overcome obstacles, capitalize on their particular abilities, and make an unforgettable impact on the world of basketball under the direction of Chot Reyes.