Japan knocks out Philippines
Reyes offered his apologies after the Philippines failed to reach their target of getting to the Top 8, with Japan beating Gilas Pilipinas in a knockout playoff on Tuesday (July 19).
“Obviously, the result is not what we wanted. We’re very sorry that we’ve disappointed a lot of our countrymen, our fellow Filipinos,” he said.
Even before the FIBA Asia Cup, the team’s head coach came under hot waters after he proclaimed his goal for the team of only reaching top 8 when the Philippines was ranked sixth by FIBA in Asia.
“We wish we could get at least to the top eight, but we were not able to get the job done. There is very little to say,” said Reyes.
Japan had not been able to beat the Philippines in two decades but its top three players, Yuta Watanabe, Yuki Togashi, and Luke Evans scored more than half of the country’s total output in the knockout game.
‘All Filipinos have a say in the team’
Sports journalist Snow Badua aired out his frustrations of Reyes’ game plan, saying that he is already past his learning process.
“Di ko po sinasabing hindi ninyo kaya dyan, pero ang dami nang heatbreaks ng mga Pinoy fans. Unti-unti nang nauubos ang confidence nila sa team, wag nyong hayaang mased pa yun,” Badua said in a Facebook post.
(I’m not saying you lack capability, but Pinoy fans have had too many disappointments. Their confidence in the team is waning, don’t let it flop any further.)
He also said that Reyes must change his mindset as this is no longer just within the PBA, but a team representing the Philippines in the international scene.
“Sa PBA po, okay lang kayo ang masunod sa takbo, sistema at tao ng team nyo KASI TNT LANG YUN. Dyan po sa Gilas, dala nyo ang Pilipinas,” he said.
(In PBA, it may be fine that it’s only your decision for the team that matters because it’s only [Talk n Text]. But in Gilas, you also carry the name of the Philippines.)
“May karapatan ang bawat Pilipino na makialam sa team na yan,” Badua added.
(All Filipinos have a say in the team.)
Meanwhile, despite the disappointing finish for the Philippines, Reyes said that they already have plans for the Philippines leading to the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
“We already had a plan in place for the next window. We’ve put the plan together already all the way until August next year. We just have to execute,” said Reyes.
“We’re operating under very difficult circumstances and a lot of restrictions, but we’re making do with what we have and in the end, that’s all we can do: take what’s in front of us, make do with what we have, and just continue plugging in and plugging away and hopefully, just develop and get better for next year,” Reyes further pointed out.
Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates.
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