GILAS Pilipinas gained a harsh reality check as it lost to Alab Pilipinas, 81-76, in a tune-up game on Saturday morning at the Meralco gym.
The national team, in the second week of its preparations for the first window of the Fiba World Cup qualifiers later this month, played catch-up all game long before surrendering in the end against the Asean Basketball League side.
Jayson Castro and June Mar Fajardo were the only Gilas players who scored in double figures with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
“Well, we sucked big time,” Gilas coach Chot Reyes said after their first tune-up game ahead of their qualifying game against Japan in Tokyo on November 24. “If we play like this, we better not even go to Japan, we have no chance.”
“No positives at all,” he added. “Credit to Alab, they came in they were very prepared. They outplayed us, they outfought us, they outhustled us, they outshot us. I can't think of one positive thing in today's ballgame.”
Nigerian-American Reggie Okosa registered 21 points, while Lawrence Domingo and Pao Javelona added 12 points apiece to lead Alab, who sat out Ivan Johnson and Ray Parks due to minor injuries.
Asked what needs to be improved, Reyes rattled off the basics that Gilas has yet to master even after a string of two-a-day practices behind closed doors.
“Naku, ang dami (kailangan i-improve),” Reyes said. “Kailangan muna namin matutong mag-basketball eh, 'di kami marunong mag-basketball eh. Sa nilaro namin ngayon, para kaming 'di marunong mag-basketball. 'Di kami maka-shoot, 'di kami maka-depensa, 'di kami maka-rebound.”
“Like I said, kung ganito lalaruin natin, wag na tayong pumunta ng Japan,” he added.
At least Gilas still has over a week to train before the team flies to Tokyo on November 21.
“We better find a way to fix that, hopefully we have enough time,” Reyes said. “Yun ang kailangan natin ayusin, even before namin isipin ang Japan.
ALAB 81 – Okosa 21, Domingo 12, Javelona 12, Sumalinog 9, Urbiztondo 7, Maierhofer 6, Raymundo 4, Celiz 4, Hontiveros 2
GILAS 76 – Castro 12, Fajardo 10, Almazan 9, Abueva 8, Maliksi 6, Pogoy 4, Norwood 4, Ravena 4, Belo 3, Alas 3, Wright 3, Rosario 2, Cruz 0
Quarterscores: 21-19, 42-41, 63-63, 81-76