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Chot Reyes: ‘I’m really sorry’

Coach Chot Reyes offered no excuses in Gilas Pilipinas' winless run in the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Chot Reyes PHOTO BY RIO DELUVIO

The Philippines just dropped its fourth straight game, the latest of it was a 68-87 submission to South Sudan in the classification phase at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Thursday, August 31.

Making the loss all the more deflating for Filipino hoops fans was the fact that it took Gilas out of contention for an outright Paris Olympics qualification next year.

Reyes, who looks so defeated after Gilas' loss on Thursday, said he's taking full responsibility for the losses.

“I've had numerous times. I've already said I'm really sorry that we were not able to deliver and I take full accountability. I take full responsibility,” said Reyes in the post-game presser.

Pressed if the defeat was still a learning experience for Gilas, something that he used to say in the Filipinos' previous tournaments leading up to this World Cup, Reyes said no.

The 60-year-old tactician said that this world meet was supposed to be the stage where the home team should be executing already and not learning anymore.

“No [this is no longer a winning experience for us], this was a time for us to win, to execute the learning. It was supposed to happen way back. This was a time for us to win and execute and like I said, we didn't get the job done,” said Reyes.

Even with the defeat, Gilas would have still been in contention for that lone outright Olympic berth for an Asian team had Japan also lost earlier to Venezuela. The Japanese, though, scored an 86-77 win, shutting the doors on the Filipinos.

“Again, unfortunate. We knew this was the game we absolutely had to win because somebody would get the wins. That's why I'm very, very disappointed. I'm not surprised Japan won, that's why I knew this was the game we really, absolutely had to get, so… Those are Olympic dreams for now for this World Cup.”

Demoralize as Gilas is because of the loss, Reyes said that they need to recover quickly as they will still play China to end their campaign on Saturday, September 2.

Gilas is out to salvage some pride and a win, which would drag the Chinese from their outright Olympic qualification.

China, which best Angola to start its classification phase campaign, has to beat the Philippines and hope that Japan loses to Cape Verde to get a rather good chance of finishing as the best Asian team in the world meet and get the outright Olympic qualification.

“Obviously, we're very, very down. Nothing else we can say, right? The morale is really low. Our job is to get everyone ready now for the next game, and that has to start with our mindset and our emotional heartset as well,” said Reyes.

“We just like to say that as difficult and as disappointing the campaign has been so far, I'm still very proud of the effort. Guys put themselves on the line. Fought our best. Unfortunately, things did not go our way. The only thing we can do now is just focus on the next. There's one more game to be played. We'll prepare as well as we can to again put up a fight against China on Saturday.”

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Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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