China’s Zhou Qi (right) towers over Calvin Abueva (8) and Joachim Gunther Thoss, (23) in a rebound play in the final of the FIBA Asia Championship in Changsha in south China’s Hunan province. At left is Marc Pingris. AP

Dream to reach zenith remains alive - Tab

CHANGSHA - The Gilas Pilipinas coaching staff took full responsibility for falling short of the country's dream of making it to the Rio Olympics, saying they simply failed to measure up to the tough Chinese team in the final game.

"We're not thinking about who's not here, what's not here and what's missing. We're thinking about we had an opportunity and we didn't measure up for whatever reasons and there's plenty," said head coach Tab Baldwin.

He admitted that the team needs to figure out to improve and he feels they will after back-to-back second-place finishes in the FIBA Asia Championship.

The dream to reach the highest point in Asian basketball the soonest possible time, remains alive.

They got to within a game of achieving that mission here but came up short, beaten by the host team, 67-78, before a hostile home crowd at the Changsha Social Work College Gymnasium Saturday night.

The Chinese won't allow themselves beaten especially on this night when the nation was still celebrating the extension of its National Day. The playoff games in the Asian meet ran through the weeklong holidays here.

"(We're) very down (in the locker room). There's nobody in there that feels content with the result or the performance. They're disappointed. They know what's going on back home. They understand that," said Baldwin.

"We're blessed that we have the prayers that come to us from the Philippines, the support that comes to us from our families and the people that love us back home. I don't feel that we let them down," Baldwin also said.

"We're down. We're disappointed. We're hurt for ourselves. We're hurt for them. We're hurt for MVP (Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Manny V. Pangilinan) and the people who supported us," Baldwin added.

Having qualified to play in the Olympic wildcard battles, Baldwin said they have to look ahead now.

"We would like to get across the (PBA) board's support and we hope for that in the future," he said.

"It would help a lot in the future, but nobody's really thinking about that right now," he added.

comments powered by Disqus