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    COLUMN: Time for Gilas to play ball, not play victim

    Instead of dwelling on the court conditions and Cambodia's coach, Gilas should own up to this mess then win the SEA Games gold medal, preferably against this same Cambodian team in the final
    May 12, 2023
    chot reyes gilas cambodia sea games
    PHOTO: reuben terrado
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    CHICAGO - Watching Gilas Pilipinas lose to perennial basketball doormat Cambodia, 79-68, last night at the SEA Games was sad.

    What was even sadder, though, was hearing our coaches turn into leaking fire hydrants of excuses.

    They complained of the heat in the outdoor practice gym. They moaned about the slippery mat that covered the court. They wailed about the host team's reinforcements. And they assailed the antics of the Cambodian coach.

    READ: Gilas coaches fume over Cambodia's late timeout, antics

    Blah. Blah. Blah.

    Instead of burdening our ears with screaming alibis, coach Chot Reyes, Tim Cone and the rest of the staff should own up to this mess, get their act together, then win the SEA Games gold medal, preferably against this same cocky Cambodian team in the final.

    As our basketball nation grieves, the fans want to hear explanations, not alibis. Diverting our collective attention away from the beating that actually happened on the playing court is like throwing gasoline on a bonfire.



      Look, the Cambodian coach was acting like a dick when he called a timeout in the last 20 seconds of action where the game was already decided, but Reyes cannot waste time devoting energy on that.


      The SEA Games are not about ethics and coaches behaving badly. If you want to avoid shenanigans like that, just win your games and write a script where "unwritten rules" can't be broken.

      And please, pretty please, let's not hear about how the Cambodians strengthened their roster with six naturalized players. Guess what, the rules, as bad as these are, allowed such additions so there's really no point crying about it.

      justin brownlee gilas vs cambodia sea games
      This defeat may be shocking, but it sure wasn't surprising.

      Watch Now

      Practice and preparation are the highest forms of respect for the game. And Gilas barely had either of those heading to this biennial tournament.

      Once a week practices, those manic, sparsely attended Monday practices won't cut it. And neither would a week's work of camp in Laguna.

      Not. Good, Enough.

      The coaching staff, not SBP, dropped the ball on this one.

      HERE'S WHY

      The job of SBP president Al Panlilio is to make sure Gilas is put in the best position to win. Blaming him for this debacle is like blaming the PNP chief for the atrocities of erring policemen.

      Panlilio's other task is to unite the stakeholders, which he did.

      SBP president emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan is also doing a lot of heavy-lifting behind the scenes and deserves zero blame for this tragedy.

      READ: MVP express disgust over 'disgraceful game'

      When star players refuse to play, making up excuses all the time, the federation's hands are tied.


      After giving the coaching staff the autonomy to run the ship as they see fit when it pertains to personnel, SBP executive branch should be cleansed from any of the responsibility of making sure practices are conducted and opposing teams are scouted.

      The executive department already has its hands full putting together sponsorships and taking care of logistics. It cannot worry about the basketball side of the business.

      "SBP, what happened?" MVP asked last night in a disappointed tweet where the words "ignominious" and "infamy" were used to depict his frustration.

      I wish I had a definite answer but this much I can say.

      A lot of things did not happen in the practice court and the scouting room on the way to Cambodia.

      Get more of the latest sports news & updates on SPIN.ph

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      PHOTO: reuben terrado
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