SBP: We will bounce back

Olmin Leyba - The Philippine Star
SBP: We will bounce back
Al Panlilio.
STAR / File

Players’ lack of chemistry crucial

MANILA, Philippines — An apologetic Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) owned up to Gilas Pilipinas’ disastrous campaign in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam and vowed to right the ship moving forward.

“We apologize we fell short and were not able to give our teams better support that they needed to retain the gold,” SBP president Al Panlilio said as the federation broke its silence amid widespread criticism for the shocking Gilas fall in Hanoi.

“There are no excuses and we’ve learned valuable lessons. We will bounce back and reclaim our spot to stay ahead,” he added.

For the most immediate battles post-SEAG, the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers window next month and the FIBA Asia Cup in July, Gilas coach Chot Reyes said the plan is to tap the young guns led by Dwight Ramos and Thirdy Ravena.

“Ang team talaga natin will be comprised mostly of UAAP and NCAA players, together with Thirdy and Dwight. Yung young core talaga natin, part of the developmental process for the 2023 FIBA World Cup,” Reyes said in the program ‘Wag Po on One Ph.

“And sila na rin yung mag-FIBA Asia Cup kasi yung ating PBA players ongoing na yung tournament and ayaw natin sila abalahin at that point.”

Gilas will be on a redemption tour after relinquishing the SEAG throne to Indonesia, a first-time winner that harnessed its full potential under former Gilas coach Rajko Toroman and bannered by former NBA player Marques Bolden.

Reyes had taken full responsibility and accountability for the result that was a big letdown to the basketball-crazy nation.

“There’s absolutely no excuse for us to lose in the SEA Games,” Reyes said.

The veteran tactician cited key factors that contributed to the downfall topped by lack of chemistry.

“For example, yung Ravena brothers, dumating sa Pilipinas May 10 and umalis tayo for Vietnam May 13. Talagang kulang sa amuyan ba. Magkakakila naman sila pero yung amuyan sa court, hindi ganon kaplantsado,” he said.

“Credit to Indonesia, matagal na sila nag-prepare, matagal na nag-camp, tune-up games, they were fully prepared. And nakita mo naman sa laro nila how smooth their game was. Nakahadlang talaga sa atin yun,” he added.

It also didn’t help that the likes of Ramos, Japeth Aguilar, Kevin Alas and Robert Bolick couldn’t make the trip for various reasons.

“I think even with the limited preparation, kung nakuha natin yung players na gusto natin, we would have had a better chance.

“But again, hindi ako nagpa-palusot, even with the lineup we had, we still could have won, beaten Indonesia, even with the great strategy of coach Rajko and all that. We still had our chances so no excuses talaga dyan,” Reyes said.


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