JAKARTA - Fiery coach Yeng Guiao didn't sound too disappointed after a close loss by Gilas Pilipinas to China on Friday night, heaping praise instead on his players' brave performance in the 2018 Asian Games.
"I don't see this as a loss," Guiao told mediamen in the mixed zone after the Chinese went on a five-point finishing kick to escape with an 82-80 victory in their clash for group leadership at the GBK Basketball Hall.
"Hindi tayo nagkulang. Hindi lang pumasok 'yung tira. Wala tayong pagkukulang. Wala tayong pagkukulang sa game na to. We all should appreciate the work of the boys."
The veteran PBA coach had something to say about the wide free-throw disparity in a game that saw a China side led by NBA player Zhou Qi take 39 free throws and make 23 against the 15 awarded to the Philippines.
"Even if you double our free throws, it's not even enough to match the free throws that they took," Guiao said.
Still, Guiao prefered to stick to the positives, praising the performance of guard Stanley Pringle ("Outside of Jordan Clarkson, he played really well") and his bigs led by Christian Standhardinger and Poy Erram ("The size difference was just huge, but they gave it their all.")
But most of all, Guiao pointed out that his side had all to gain after being formed barely two weeks before the quadrennial showcase.
"We formed this team two weeks ago. Then we flew in Clarkson four, five days ago. So with that amount of preparation, this is a really good performance," said the many-time PBA champion coach.
Asked what will be his first words to his boys in the dugout, Guiao said, "I consider this as a win."