SEVILLE, SPAIN - Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes was left to rue a flopping technical called on Jayson Castro that led to a five-point swing for Croatia in the final seconds of the third period of the two teams' Fiba World Cup debut on Saturday.
Gilas dropped a 78-81 loss to a Croatian side ranked 16th in the world after a fierce overtime battle, but Reyes couldn't help but look back on a crucial moment late in the third period when the 5-10 Castro was called for flopping against 6-foot-5 Krunoslav Simon.
Gilas at that point was down by three, 49-52, after a Castro three-pointer.
However, two free throws made by Simon on Castro's technical and a three-pointer by Damir Markota in the ensuing possession awarded to Croatia left Gilas trailing, 49-57, with one quarter to go.
Reyes was fuming after the game.
"The ref called a technical foul that I couldn’t believe (towards the end of the third)," Reyes said. "The ref said Jayson was flopping. The guy is 5-10 and he’s guarding a 6-5, so how can that be flopping?"
The Filipinos staged a furious fightback in the fourth quarter and had a chance to steal the win on Jeff Chan's jumper at the buzzer. They were also in the game down to the final seconds of overtime, until Castro missed what could have been a game-tying three-pointer.
But in the end, Reyes was fully convinced that five-point swing late in the third quarter did Gilas in.
"That’s the difference in the game. If not for that technical foul, we could have won the game. The game wouldn’t have gone into overtime," he said.
"The refs called a technical. Croatia made the free throws then made a three at the buzzer. That’s five points and that’s the difference in the game."