GILAS Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes said he has no expectations from the national squad's stint in next month's Fiba Asia Cup, insisting the goal for the team and its players is to get reacquianted after months of playing against each other.
The national squad gathers to resume regular practice Tuesday, almost a year since Gilas' surprising runner-up finish in last year’s Fiba Asia men’s championships in Manila that earned the Philippines a ticket back to the world championships for the first time since 1978.
The Fiba Asia Cup in Wuhan, China from July 12 to 18 will be Gilas' first tournament in its buildup for the Fiba World Cup in Spain as well as the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, and Reyes is keeping his expectations down and his goals modest.
“I absolutely have no expectations (from Gilas). We’re using that (Fiba Asia Cup) really as a getting-back together tournament,” Reyes told Spin.ph.
“Hopefully, we play well, but with one week’s practice, actually, one week’s practice with the players of the (PBA) teams who are not in the Finals, very honestly, I have no expectations,” he added.
Since the members of the Gilas pool have played for months under PBA rules, Reyes pointed out that the Asia Cup is a good starting point to get the players immersed once more in international play.
“So it’s like a tuneup, reacquaintance with the international environment, refereeing, tawagan, just the atmosphere, iyan ang importante,” he added.
Reyes said only players whose mother PBA teams are no longer in the running in the Governors Cup are expected to join the team's first practice on Tuesday.
Only four teams are left standing in the Governors Cup semifinals - Alaska and Rain or Shine, as well as defending champion San Mig Super Coffee and Talk 'N Text.
The Elasto Painters and Tropang Texters have the biggest contributions in the 15-man Gilas pool with a total of eight players - Rain or Shine has Gabe Norwood, Jeff Chan, Beau Belga and Paul Lee, while Talk ‘N Text has Jimmy Alapag, Larry Fonacier, Jason Castro and Ranidel de Ocampo.
San Mig has Marc Pingris, while Alaska has none.
The Philippines is bracketed in Group B in the Fiba Asia Cup with old rival Chinese Taipei, Singapore, Uzbekistan and Jordan, now being handled by former Smart Gilas coach Rajko Toroman.
Gilas actually placed fourth in the 2012 edition in Tokyo after bowing to Qatar in the battle for bronze, 79-63.