COACH Chot Reyes said the final tune-up game against Kazakhstan on Friday not only gave Gilas Pilipinas a chance to test itself against one of Asia’s best teams but also get a taste of European-flavored brand of basketball ahead of the Fiba-Asia Championship set to start on Thursday.
“That is why we wanted a tune-up against this team because we know very little about them. Kazakhstan showed a very European kind of offense and we wanted to have a taste of a team like that,” said Reyes.
The match against Kazakhstan also showed Reyes that his team can adjust to an unfamiliar opponent and pull off a win.
Gilas Pilipinas won over Kazakhstan, 92-89, and will plunge into action on Thursday against Saudi Arabia at the Mall of Asia Arena to begin Group A hostilities.
The game against Kazakhstan should come in handy when they face the Saudis at the start of the tournament.
“We don’t want to overlook Saudi but we want to prepare hard against Jordan and Chinese Taipei,” Reyes said, adding they still have time to work on their defense after allowing Kazakhstan’s offense to score in bunches.
“Our defense was not as good as we have wanted although I have to give credit to Kazakhstan’s offense, they were just hitting three-point shots after three-point shots the whole game,” said Reyes.
With three days remaining before the start of the Fiba-Asia Championship, Reyes is now concentrating on the mental aspect of their preparations.
“From there on in, it’s more on mental preparation and sharpening,” Reyes said.