COACH Chot Reyes says Gilas Pilipinas can't be too confident ahead of the game against Saudi Arabia in the 2023 Fiba Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers on Monday.
"It's gonna be a tough team, it's gonna be a tough game. The most important thing is for us to be prepared for that," said Reyes.
As gratifying as Gilas' 74-66 win over Jordan last Friday, Reyes believes that the team can still be better, noting the 20 turnovers that the Pinoys committed, the 12-of-19 free throw shooting which was only good for 63.2-percent, and the defensive breakdowns on the open court that led to 16 fastbreak points for Jordan.
"No. 1, I think we had too many turnovers. I think 20 turnovers was a little too much. No. 2, we could improve on our free throw shooting percentage. And, there were just several breakdowns defensively, especially on transition. Those are the top three things," the mentor said.
The Philippines retains its 12 players from the game against Jordan.
That's why Gilas is really taking this game seriously, with the team scouting its foe immediately after the game in Amman.
"Sa airport pa lang, we were already viewing and we were already watching film. And then, we continued even last night after the players went to bed. The coaches stayed and continued viewing this one. So we were able to already do some stuff in last night's practice, even if it was a light practice, that we feel is going to be important for the game tomorrow," he said.
This will also be a differnet Saudi team from the squad which played in August at Mall of Asia Arena with coach Johan Roijakkers of the Netherlands replacing Ali Alsanhani.
Reyes acknowledged that fact and said: "New coach, new system, several new players. A completely new approach to the game, so we keep telling the players that this is a very, very important game."