HANOI – Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes accepted the blame for the historic defeat in the 31st Southeast Asian Games men’s basketball tournament that saw the longtime champions settle for the silver medal behind Indonesia.
Gilas absorbed a shocking 85-81 loss to Indonesia in a fiercely fought final at the Thanh Tri Gymnasium, ending the Philippines' 33-year reign in SEA Games basketball that the country has treated as its own playground.
“Our players played their best,” said Reyes after emerging from the dugout. “Indonesia came with a very good game plan. They shot well from the three-point line. In the end, we just couldn’t match it.”
“Obviously that’s on me. I take full accountability and responsibility for the result. Like I said, they tried their best and that’s sports. That’s life. Sometimes, things don’t work out the way we played.”
The struggles of the team from the outside was magnified in the game in the final game where Gilas only shot 3-of-16 from threes, compared to Indonesia, which had a 13-of-31 clip from the outside.
The team also struggled to contain Indonesia big man in Marques Bolden, who had a team-high 18 points.
Reyes said the absence of Japeth Aguilar, Dwight Ramos, and Robert Bolick due to varying reasons also took its toll on the team.
“Two things that really hurt us was Japeth’s injury,” said Reyes, referring to Aguilar’s calf injury that kept him out for Barangay Ginebra in the PBA playoffs. “We needed a mobile big man, an extra mobile big man aside from Troy [Rosario]. And that should have been Japeth.”
Ramos didn’t made the tournament due to his commitment inthe Japan B.League, while Bolick had to beg off to attend to his ailing father.
“And our outside shooting in the tournament was really bad. That was Dwight Ramos and Robert Bolick. Robert Bolick was our original starting point guard here. But like we said, things didn’t turn out the way we wanted. That’s the way it goes.
Reyes though felt the team that was sent here for the SEA Games was still very capable of winning the gold medal.
“But still, no excuses. I thought we still have the team that could get the job done and we came up short,” said Reyes.
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