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Team chemistry plays big role for Gilas in World Cup — Chot

Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes is convinced that beyond the Xs and Os of the game, team chemistry plays a huge role in the national team's strong run in the coming 2023 FIBA World Cup.

Just before leaving for Estonia Thursday evening, Reyes told veteran sports analyst in his Playitright TV Youtube Sports Channel that a big part of the team's recent four-day, closed-door training at the Inspire Sports Academy involved a lot of off the court activities.

Gilas Pilipinas FIBA PHOTO
Gilas Pilipinas FIBA PHOTO

“Team building for me is a very serious business and we always tell the players this is the work in teamwork,” Reyes told Henson in the interview early this week. “When we talk about teamwork, not only what we do on the floor but a lot off the floor, and my thinking is a lot of the things we do off the floor will show up on the floor.”

And while the 20-man pool has been hit by injuries, Reyes has learned to accept that as a fact in tournament preparation.

No wonder, putting in a pool of players is a necessity, he added.

“That's the reason for the pool. I know a lot of people are saying, 'Why don't you pick your players already? (Or) have a definite lineup already? And that's the reason why in our experience coaching the national team for such a long time, there are always gonna be injuries and other circumstances and that will prevent other players in participating in training and tournaments,” explained the 59-year-old Reyes.

The long-time Philippine team coach said given these facts, their mentality in the coaching staff is simply “go for the healthy players” in the pool.

“That's the reason for the pool. We just go to the guys who are healthy. Our attitude is, we don't worry with who's not here, but work with who's here,” he stressed.

At least four members from the Gilas pool led by veteran sniper Roger Pogoy and Calvin Oftana of TNT, along with Japan B.League imports Bobby Ray Parks and Jordan Heading did not fly out with the team to Estonia due to various injuries.

On the other hand, Justin Brownlee, one of three naturalized players in the pool, recently went through a non-basketball medical procedure and will just join the team in Estonia as he comes from the U.S.

So far, Reyes, along with the team's coaching staff, led 12 others members from the national pool to Estonia on Thursday night.

The 12 players from the pool include by six-time PBA Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo and his San Miguel teammate CJ Perez, Barangay Ginebera's Scottie Thompson, Japeth Aguilar and Jamie Malonzo, Meralco's Chris Newsome, the Ravena brothers Kiefer and Thirdy, TNT's Poy Erram, Dwight Ramos, Rhenz Abando and Fil-Nigerian AJ Edu.

Ange Kouame is expected to follow the team after attending his Ateneo graduation on June 30.

Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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