GILAS Pilipinas caps its preliminary round campaign in the 27th Fiba-Asia Championship on Wednesday against winless Hong Kong in a game coach Chot Reyes admitted is not really high on his list of priorities at the moment.
“We’re not overlooking Hong Kong, but my thoughts are not actually on Hong Kong now,” said the outspoken mentor shortly after the nationals downed Qatar, 80-70, on Tuesday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Hong Kong actually sits at the bottom of Group E with no wins to show in four outings, losing its games by an average margin of 26.2 points.
Although Reyes is not looking past the team, he’s also contemplating if the 8:30 p.m. encounter would be the perfect time to rest banged-up players Ranidel de Ocampo and Marcus Douthit.
Douthit walked out of the game against Qatar limping a little bit after hurting his right calf when he banged it against the knee of Khalid Suliman Abdi in the third period.
De Ocampo is nursing an MCL tear sustained in the nationals’ match against Japan on Monday night.
“It’s actually going to depend on the condition of his (Douthit) knee. It would have been good to rest him for tomorrow’s (today) game, but sometimes not fielding a player is like taking him out of the mixture again, and we don’t want that to happen,” said the Gilas coach.
Even if it wins against Hong Kong, Gilas must still hope that Qatar beats Chinese-Taipei - but by no more than 16 points - in order to clinch the No. 1 spot in Group E entering the quarterfinal phase.