Chot Reyes bats for longer practice time with full lineup as road gets tougher for Gilas
Chot Reyes: “We really need to find a better way than what is currently going on.” Jerome Ascano

CHOT Reyes is hoping Gilas Pilipinas can have the benefit of practicing together over a longer period now that it has clinched a place in the second round of the 2019 Fiba World Cup qualifiers.

Reyes admitted Gilas can no longer work under the present set-up where players from the PBA hold once-a-week practices before coming together just days before qualifying matches.

“This kind of preparation, as you can see, is not gonna cut it moving forward,” said Reyes after the Filipinos secured a spot in the next round of the home-and-away qualifiers with an 89-84 win over Japan at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday night.

“We really need to find a better way than what is currently going on.”

As things stand now, Australia and Gilas already clinched the first two slots in Group B for the second round of the meet late this year, with the remaining berth to be disputed by Chinese Taipei and Japan.

The top three teams in each of the four groups will advance to the next round, where their win-loss record in the first round will be carried over.  

Group D will have former Asian champion Iran and Kazakhstan also advancing, while still to be determined are entries from Groups A and C, respectively.

The top three teams in Groups B and D will be bunched together in Group F, but Gilas and Australia will not play each other in the second round, as Group B squads take on Iran, Kazakhstan and either Qatar or Iraq in a similar home-and-away format to be played in three windows – September 2018,  November 2018, and February 2019.

The top three teams in Group F – along with the Top Three from the other bracket (Group E) – at the end of the three windows will qualify for the FIBA World Cup in China in 2019.

This early though, Reyes is appealing to alter the practice system of Gilas, noting how the team only practiced as a complete unit for the second window after it finally arrived in Melbourne for its game against the Boomers.

“We love the fact that they opened it up where you get more than one player per team, but without any practice that’s useless,” said Reyes.

“I’d rather go back to the one player per team but have practice. Mas OK na yun kaysa you can get as much as you want pero wala namang practice.”


If he’ll have his way, Reyes would want the adjustment to take effect for the final window of the first round when Gilas travels to Chinese Taipei on June 29 and then hosts Australia at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan on July 2.

Good thing, he said Gilas management is in constant communication with the PBA.

“It’s fortunate that the commissioner and I have an open line and we keep on talking to each other,” said the national coach.

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