Chot tempers expectations for FIBA Asia Cup
MANILA, Philippines – National team head coach Chot Reyes tempers expectations for Gilas Pilipinas in the 2014 FIBA Asia Cup in Wuhan, acknowledging that winning the 10-team tournament was not their primary objective.
"We have absolutely no expectations for Wuhan," Reyes said during the launch of the national team's new uniforms last week. "It's just a re-acquaintance, re-acquainting ourselves with playing international competition."
The FIBA Asia Cup runs in Wuhan from July 11 to 19, and is part of the national team's build-up to the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain starting August 30.
Reyes said that the Asian tournament will help them get used to the grind of a FIBA competition again, as well as familiarize them with the new ball.
"(But) there's very little expectation there," Reyes stressed. "We'll go all out, and hopefully we can go all the way, but really, that’s not the main objectives of the Wuhan trip."
"We're gonna start practicing on July 1, we're leaving on July 9, and on July 1 we won't even have the players of the two teams who will make the finals (Rain or Shine and San Mig Coffee)," he added.
"So we won't have a complete team by any stretch there."
Gilas is in Group B of the tournament, along with Chinese-Taipei, Jordan, Singapore and Uzbekistan. China, India, Indonesia, Iran and Japan are in Group A.
The top four teams of each group will advance to the knockout quarter-finals.
"We just get into the groove of playing, being in the environment," said Reyes. "Going to sleep, shootaround, rest, play in the evening – the daily grind."
"That's just important as playing on the basketball court – being used to the things that you're doing off court."
Aside from the FIBA Asia Cup, Gilas Pilipinas will also have a training camp in Miami as well as several tune-up games, all part of their preparation for the FIBA World Cup.