HWASEONG, South Korea – Endgame miscues and mental mistakes more than the physicality of the game cost Gilas Pilipinas the win against Iran in the 17th Asian Games basketball competitions.
Although key players were saddled with foul trouble including naturalized player Marcus Douthit, coach Chot Reyes said the nationals should play smarter in the endgame especially against a powerhouse team like the Iranians, who won, 68-63.
“I thought we were doing a good job on the physicality. We were hitting right back at Iran. They are a master at hitting you and when you hit back, they whine. It’s more of mental. We have to be able to be smarter than that.
“But through the physicality and the foul troubles, we lost the game due to unforced errors, unsportsmanlike foul on (Marc) Pingris, and a technical foul on (June Mar) Fajardo. I kept telling my players that we are a team that has a very small margin of error,” said Reyes.
“We have to be better than that,” he added.
Apart from Douthit, also in foul trouble for most of the game were Pingris, Paul Lee, and Ranidel De Ocampo.
In all, Gilas Pilipinas had more fouls, 27-18, leading to Iran taking more free throw attempts, 31-16.
Reyes did admit the game against Iran was physical as he felt the Philippines also got the raw end of the calls against Mohammadsamad Nik Khahbahrami, Hamed Haddadi, and the rest of the Iranians.
“It’s a mystery to me that we kept on getting called for flopping when Kamrani is a master flopper and they didn’t get a warning. I just told my players to forget about it,” said Reyes.
In the end though, the miscues cost the game for Gilas.
“If we managed our fouls better and shun away from the useless stuff, we had the ball game,” said Reyes.