Gilas Head Coach Chot Reyes

Chot Reyes Emphasizes Slim Margin of Error as Crucial for Gilas' Success

We are navigating on a tightrope with little room for error.

Coach Chot Reyes leaves no room for misunderstanding when he underlines the importance of maintaining a razor-thin margin of error for Gilas Pilipinas as they gear up for the highly anticipated FIBA World Cup campaign.

Reyes’s poignant message comes from the national team’s hard-fought 63-48 triumph over Iran. This game showcased moments of vulnerability against a formidable opponent during the conclusive clash of the Heyuan WUS International Basketball Tournament in Guandong, China.

What initially looked like a comfortable 15-point lead for the Filipinos evaporated as the Iranian squad mounted a spirited comeback, surging ahead 40-35 in the third quarter, leaving the Gilas fans on the edge of their seats.

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Gilas only managed to unleash a decisive 12-0 run in the waning four minutes of play, ultimately clinching a final score of 61-47.

While the victory propelled Gilas to a commendable 3-1 record, sharing the laurels with Senegal and concluding their campaign on a high note, Reyes remains far from content with the team’s performance.

In the post-game discussion with the players, Reyes said, “I’ve stressed it before, and I’ll stress it again—our margin for error is practically nonexistent. Every second you spend on that court is of the essence. We’re working with a minimal margin for mistakes.”

Such a scenario, as underscored by the mentor himself, is entirely unacceptable, especially when facing the grandeur of the FIBA World Cup stage.

“Given our circumstances, one misstep could spell disaster for us,” Reyes expounded. “We must remain sharp and focused every single moment; there’s no other way.”

Jordan Clarkson Arrival

Returning from their spirited tournament in China, Coach Chot Reyes and the Gilas Pilipinas squad carried back a trove of invaluable training insights and an intensified sense of urgency. Their focus now turns to the final pivotal component required to mount a commendable performance in the upcoming FIBA World Cup. This event holds immense significance as the Philippines takes on the co-host role.

Reyes’s words resonate with gravity, underscoring the team’s understanding of the high stakes: “Our margin for error is almost nonexistent. A single misstep could prove fatal. We must operate with precision every second on the court. Near perfection is our target, and even that might not be enough. We’ll find ourselves at a disadvantage without playing at our utmost best.”

He amplifies this call to arms, reminding the players of the caliber of competition awaiting them on the grand stage of the World Cup. The level of play will be elevated, and Gilas must rise to meet the challenge, striving for excellence.

Among those who can elevate Gilas Pilipinas to greater heights in this basketball spectacle is Jordan Clarkson. His early Tuesday morning arrival aboard Philippine Airlines PR 103 signifies his eagerness to contribute to the National Five’s cause.

“I’m brimming with excitement to rejoin the team,” Clarkson shares with reporters as he departs Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 at dawn. “I believe we have a promising chance to make an impact,” he remarks about Gilas’ aspirations, poised to commence their journey against the Dominican Republic, followed by matches against Angola and Italy. “We hope to emerge victorious in several games.”

Reyes strategically plans to reintegrate Clarkson into the program as early as Wednesday, initiating the final phase of Gilas’ preparatory efforts for the quadrennial tournament. This global event also doubles as a qualifier for the Paris Olympic Games slated for the following year.

In recent weeks, the team’s training pool has showcased substantial growth, even without sure assured selections. AJ Edu’s dynamic performance filled the void left by 7-foot-3 center Kai Sotto, while Kiefer Ravena’s adept playmaking skills provided stability as Scottie Thompson nursed his fractured hand. Amidst the challenges, Ray Parks Jr. emerged as an additional potent scoring option, bolstering Gilas’ offensive arsenal.

As anticipation builds and aspirations run high, Gilas Pilipinas looks to amalgamate the lessons learned from foreign camps, the insight of their seasoned coach, and the skill set of Jordan Clarkson. The team aims to channel this collective energy and determination into a formidable World Cup campaign that showcases their mettle and raises the flag of Philippine basketball on the global stage.

The 31-year-old Clarkson engaged in a meaningful conversation with Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) Chairman Emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan and SBP President Al S. Panlilio. The NBA luminary expressed his eagerness to integrate seamlessly with Gilas Pilipinas as he embarks on his maiden practice session with the squad in the lead-up to the World Cup.


In conclusion, Coach Chot Reyes’s resonating message about maintaining a minimal margin of error is a testament to Gilas Pilipinas’ commitment to excellence on the global basketball stage. With their eyes fixed firmly on the FIBA World Cup, every player understands that there is no space for complacency, and precision in every move is non-negotiable.

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