HWASEONG, South Korea — While Gilas Pilipinas got off to a hot start and appeared to have control of the game throughout, coach Chot Reyes thought India outplayed them for most of the match.
The Philippines roared to a 16-0 start en route to an 85-76 win over India at the Hwaseong Sports Complex, about an hour away from the main Asian Games hub of Incheon.
Reyes noted the Indians managed to stay in the game with their 12 three-pointers.
“We were lucky to have that good start,” Reyes said. “But after going 16-0, India basically beat us the rest of the way.”
Six players scored in double digits for the Philippines, with Jeff Chan and Marcus Douthit each scoring 14 points to lead the way.
Reyes admitted they took advantage of India playing their fourth game in four days by using pressure defense. But it would have been a different story, Reyes said, if India was well-rested.
“If they were a lot fresher and not playing their fourth game in four days, it would have been a much difficult time for us. We are happy to come out with this win. Hopefully, we continue to improve,” said Reyes.
“As soon as India got its bearings, coach (Scott) Flemming made adjustments, they slowed us down. They made it a ballgame,” said Reyes.
Aside from Chan and Douthit, also coming up huge were second stringers Gary David (13 points, 2-of-3 from three) and June Mar Fajardo (12 points, nine rebounds).
“Our thought was if we played good defense, it would allow us to run which is the strength of our team. On my end, I thought some of my bench players gave us good minutes, June Mar Fajardo and Gary David in that fourth quarter. That helped us get the W.
“But it was not easy by any means,” said Reyes.
Reyes said he isn’t surprised at all with the way India played.
“I want to commend India for the way they played. I always tell that India is an emerging threat in Asia. They are all tall and they are very tough team,” said Reyes.
Reyes also took the opportunity to call on all basketball tournaments not to emulate what happened to India where they had to play four straight games.
“It’s inhuman to play four or five games in a row. It’s not physically a good idea. We are courting injuries and disaster with a schedule like this,” said Reyes.