IT’S a draw that Chot Reyes is hoping to translate into a win in the future.
The Gilas Pilipinas coach felt the national team’s 114-114 stalemate against the Mindanao All-Stars is a sign of good things to come for the squad ahead of its first international tournament next month.
Mark Barroca’s triple down the stretch forced the tie and marked the first time since 2013 the All-Star game wound up with such result after Gilas 2.0, also coached by Reyes, and the All-Star team also settled for a 124-all stalemate in Digos.
Jeff Chan hit the three-pointer at the buzzer for Gilas that completed a comeback and denied the All-Star team, handled by Luigi Trillo, a victory.
“It’s a good omen for us,” said Reyes on Wednesday night.
Hoops fans knew what happened after that. Just months later, the national team bagged silver in the 2013 Fiba Asia Championship in Manila to book a return trip to the World Cup the following year, when the nationals grabbed a historic win against Senegal in Spain.
And that’s why Reyes is hoping for an encore for a Gilas 5.0 side that has a mission to qualify for the 2019 World Cup and 2020 Olympics.
June Mar Fajardo, one of three remnants of Gilas 2.0 in the current pool along with Jayson Castro, and Japeth Aguilar, is hoping Reyes’ hope would come true – and more.
“Sana (good sign nga),” said the reigning PBA MVP, who registered 16 points, 15 boards, one assist, and one block without committing a single turnover in 26 minutes against the Mindanao selection. “Sana mas better pa (ang resulta).”
Reyes earlier welcomed Gilas’ tune-up games against three All-Stars team considering the team has yet to undergo an international training camp or play friendlies against quality opponents.
“That’s better than nothing,” Reyes said. “We’re not going to have a chance to practice or play anymore until Seaba, so I thought it was good to take advantage of that opportunity. I thank the PBA for affording us the chance.”