IN the end, even coach Chot Reyes was forced to raise the white flag.
Gilas Pilipinas absorbed a third straight loss after a 95-65 blowout at the hands of Sagesse of Lebanon early Friday (Manila time) to formally bow out of the 24th Dubai International basketball tournament at the Al Ahli gym.
The Nationals never got on track after surrendering the first 10 points of the game to the opposition, and trailed 12-28 after the first quarter of their crossover quarterfinal match.
“Sensya na mga kabayan. Di talaga kaya,” tweeted Reyes in his Twitter account @coachot shortly after the lopsided encounter.
Gilas-Pilipinas ended its campaign in the annual meet with a 1-3 record, its lone win registered during its opening game at the expense of another Lebanese team in Mouttahed, 79-77, which saw the Nationals rally back from a similar 0-10 deficit early in the game.
“Warm up tourney with a lot of young guys. Didn’t really have high expectations for this tourney,” said former Gilas deputy mentor coach Charles Tiu in his Twitter account @charlestiu. The young coach, now an assistant at Barako Bull, was part of Rajko Toroman’s coaching staff that steered the original Gilas Pilipinas team to a third place finish in the same tournament in 2010.
KG Canaleta paced the Nationals with 32 big points, including 24 from three-point range.
Gilas Pilipinas finished the preliminaries as the third seeded team in Group B with a 1-2 (win-loss) record to arrange a quarterfinals match up with Group A no. 2 seed Sagesse (2-1).
But Sagesse proved to be a tough nut to crack with the presence of imports DeShawn Sims, Aaron Harper and Chudney Gray, along with national teams players Ibrahim Ahmad, Elie Stephan, and 7-foot Lebanese-Australian Julian Khazzouh.