Gilas Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin admitted that their upset loss to Palestine on Wednesday is a tough one to take.
The nationals bowed to the Palestinian side, 75-73, in what was supposed to be an easy opening match for the Philippines at the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship in Changsa, China.
(READ: Gilas stunned by Palestine in FIBA Asia opener)
"We in the Philippines bring so much pride in playing for Gilas, and lot of expectations come with that pride. We did not live up to expectations," Baldwin said following their defeat. "It's a difficult loss to swallow."
The Palestinian squad, led by Jamal Abu Shamala and Sani Sakakini, was a first timer in the FIBA Asia tournament.
Gilas led by as much as 15 points in the first period, but Palestine was able to adjust and managed to pull within striking distance in the next three quarters.
In the end, Palestine was able to eke out a win after Sakakini was able to convert a three-point play.
"It's one thing to lose, and another to get beaten. Today, we got beaten," said Baldwin. "We have to take this one on the chin."
The FIBA joust serves as a qualifying tournament for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Baldwin said Gilas has to make their shots and secure the rebounds it they want to win.
Aside from shooting badly with only 38.8% from the field, the nationals also got beaten on the boards as they gave up 23 offensive rebounds.
“The concern for us is are our shooters gonna hit shots? Are they gonna hit them not just in big moments? If you don’t hit shots, you don’t put points on the board,” he said.
“Our defense also has to be superior. Rebounding was atrocious, those factors do not spell good outcome for any game,” added Baldwin.
Gilas will next face Hong Kong at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday. -- With a report from TJ Manotoc, ABS-CBN News