COACH Chot Reyes said Gilas Pilipinas still has a bunch of things to work on to get a better feel of international competitions as it prepares to face Southeast Asian neighbor Singapore on Monday.
The Filipinos survived a turnover-plagued debut in the Fiba Asia Cup on Saturday, thanks to new addition Paul Lee's 15 second-half points in a 78-64 win ove Chinese Taipei in Wuhan, China.
The 14-point victory hardly impressed Reyes though, citing the turnovers, June Mar Fajardo’s foul trouble as well as the team’s spotty fastbreak executions as areas to improve on.
“Bad: 26 turnovers, Kraken’s (Fajardo’s monicker) foul trouble, fastbreak execution,” Reyes said in a text message sent to Spin.ph in summarizing Gilas’ first outing in the biennial tournament.
The 6-foot-10 Fajardo failed to get anything going in his six-minute exposure in the Asia Cup after picking up five quick fouls, forcing Reyes to rely heavily on naturalized center Marcus Douthit again.
The 34-year-old Douthit finished with 16 rebounds, eight points and three blocks in a solid all-around effort, while limiting Chinese Taipei’s naturalized big man Quincy Davis III to just seven points.
The upside for Gilas’ first outing was Rain or Shine star Lee’s smooth transition to international play, providing Reyes with another outside threat.
“Nice things: Paul Lee’s game and 31 points in the fourth quarter,” Reyes added.
After a one-day break, Gilas shoots for a second straight win against Singapore at 2:45 p.m. in a bid to solidify its hold of the top spot in Group B.
Gilas takes on Jordan, now mentored by former Smart Gilas coach Rajko Toroman, on Tuesday.