MANILA – Coach Chot Reyes says there is a good chance Gilas Pilipinas will succeed in the coming Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, where they expect to battle the same teams they faced in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship.
Reyes said if they play their cards right, the Philippines may win the gold in the Asian Games, 52 years since the country won first place in the 1962 Games.
“I really like our chance especially if we can get Andray Blatche playing comfortably very well with our team, then I think we will stand a very good chance,” the Gilas team coach said.
Reyes coached the Philippine squad, composed of PBA players and a naturalized citizen, to a second place finish in the FIBA Asia Championship last year.
It was the country’s highest placing since its gold medal finish in the 1985 edition of the tournament.
Gilas lost in the gold medal round of the tournament against eventual champion Iran, but Reyes said they managed to put up a good fight despite missing Marcus Douthit due to injury.
“I remember last year, sa FIBA Asia dito when we played Iran in the finals, we didn't have Marcus,” he said. “Hopefully, with a full roster, whoever it is we play we can get to the semifinal and again landing in a finals of the Asian Games.”
“It was 1962 since we won an Asian Games gold. That's the target [to win the gold].”
This year's Asian Games will begin on September 19, just a few days after the FIBA Basketball World Cup closes on September 14.