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    Chot says Gilas loss to Cambodia in elims a timely wake-up call

    I thought we needed that loss, says Gilas coach
    May 16, 2023
    Chot Reyes victory ride Gilas vs cambodia sea games

    PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes said the loss to Cambodia in the elimination round was exactly the wake-up call that the team needed during the 32nd Southeast Asian Games.

    READ: Gilas, Reyes have last laugh on Cambodia coach

    Gilas was stunned by the host team, 79-68, during their group-stage match last May 11 that put into question the national team's bid to reclaim the men's basketball gold medal that it lost to Indonesia last year in Hanoi.

    But Gilas got the redemption it yearned for just days later, beating Cambodia, 80-69, in the gold-medal game before a wildly cheering home crowd that included no less than Prime Minister Hun Sen.


      “A lot of people doubted this team the first time we lost,” said Reyes. “But I didn’t tell you [reporters], the first words in the dugout after we lost was this was the loss that we can afford. And I thought we needed that loss.”


      “We just kept our focus and here we are,” said Reyes.

      Reyes credited the players for responding well to that defeat and playing with a lot more focus and urgency in the Final Four, where it dethroned Indonesia in a knockout semifinal before getting back at the host team in the final.

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      “We stuck together. We kept this team of what, five Americans, five imports, six imports to below 70 points. That’s great defense,” said Reyes.

      “In the end, it was our defense that got us to this gold medal,” said Reyes.

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