Alex Compton would've preferred to see Gilas face NZ first, France second in Fiba OQT
Alex Compton, with Gilas coach Tab Baldwin and Jong Uichico, says he would've preferred to see the hosts play New Zealand first in the Fiba OQT. Jerome Ascano

HE'S not one to make excuses, but Gilas deputy coach Alex Compton believes the national team could have gotten a better shot at an Olympic berth had it gotten a more favorable playing schedule in the Fiba OQT.

As it was, the Filipinos found themselves up against fancied team France right on opening day and then suited up against New Zealand 24 hours later.

Compton said it would have been better if the Tall Blacks were the first opponent the Filipinos faced right off the bat, with the France game coming after a day's rest.

"I think that would have been more favorable to us," admitted Compton on Friday during a break in the qualifiers.

"France is No. 5 in the world for a reason. I don't know how many current or forner NBA players they have, but that's quality."

The French beat the Filipinos, 93-84, but not after rallying from a 10-point first-half deficit.

The next day, Gilas played listless in an 89-80 loss to the debuting Tall Blacks, a team which Compton said had been preparing against Gilas for almost a month.

“New Zealand had five weeks to prepare for us,” said Compton of New Zealand, aware that a win over Gilas would send the team outright to the semifinals.

But to make things clear, the Alaska coach is not complaining.

“That’s the luck of the draw. It’s random,” he stressed. “You accept the schedule that comes.

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