Chot credits Gilas players for grinding out convincing victory over host nation Vietnam

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Chot credits Gilas players for grinding out convincing victory over host nation Vietnam
Gilas Pilipinas are 4-0 in the 31st Southeast Asian Games here in Hanoi
PSC Pool Photo

HANOI — Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes heaped praise on his wards following an 88-60 victory over 31st Southeast Asian Games host country Vietnam at the Thanh Tri Gymnasium here on Thursday.

Against a determined Vietnam squad and thousands of their supporters in the stands, Gilas Pilipinas was able to weather the storm and come out on top.

And although it was a big lead at the final buzzer, Reyes said that the task proved challenging.

"[Vietnam] came up with a great gameplan, they challenged us. It had to take our best to pull off this victory," Reyes said after the game.

"But I thought the players were able to make some great adjustments, specifically defensively and I think that we were able to keep our cool," he added.

Though Gilas were in the lead most of the game, Vietnam was able to hang around and was within striking distance until the opening minutes of the fourth quarter as they were only down 12, 50-62.

But a scorching 17-0 run by Gilas blew their opponents right out of the water in the final frame.

Being able to dig deep in front of a hostile crowd like that, Reyes says, was the product of his players' experience in dealing with pressure situations.

"We knew it was going to be a wild gym because of the crowd. So we talked about it and it's exactly what happened," said Reyes.

"In the end, it's just the ability, the experience of the players."

Gilas, currently sitting atop the standings with a 4-0 slate, get a much needed rest day Friday after playing four games in just as many days.

The bid for the country's 14th straight gold medal in men's basketball in the SEA Games continues on Saturday when they face Malaysia.




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