Chot on Gilas falling short in SEA Games title quest: ‘No excuses’

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 22 2022 10:12 PM

Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes. POC/PSC Pool Photo.
Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes. POC/PSC Pool Photo.

Chot Reyes said he is responsible for Gilas Pilipinas' shocking defeat to Indonesia in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, which ended the country's long reign as kings of basketball in the region.

The Philippines fell short against Indonesia, 85-81, in a battle of undefeated teams on Sunday night at the Thanh Trì District Sporting Hall in Hanoi. Indonesia completed a six-game sweep to claim their first ever SEA Games gold, while forcing Gilas to settle for silver.

It's an unfamiliar result for the Philippines who have won 13 consecutive gold medals in SEA Games men's basketball.

Reyes, speaking to Reuben Terrado of Spin.ph and Luisa Morales of the Philippine Star after the game, said they couldn't match Indonesia's three-point shooting.

"Indonesia came with a very good game plan," he admitted.

Indonesia, led by naturalized center Marques Bolden, connected on 13 of 31 three-pointers and also got crucial second chance points in the end game. The Philippines were cold all night from long distance, making just three of 16 three-pointers.

"Obviously, that's on me," Reyes said of the loss. "I take full accountability and responsibility for the result."

The Gilas players, Reyes said, "tried their best." They had already pulled ahead by six points towards the end of the third period, only to give up a 9-0 run to Indonesia including a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Japan-based professional Brandon Jawato. That triple gave Indonesia a 63-60 lead that they would not relinquish.

"No excuses," said Reyes. "I thought we still have the team that could get the job done, and we came up short."

Reyes acknowledged that there were some factors that affected their campaign, notably the injury to Ginebra's Japeth Aguilar that forced him to withdraw from the team. They also sorely missed two players in Dwight Ramos and Robert Bolick, both of whom could have helped space the floor for June Mar Fajardo.

"That's life," said Reyes. "Sometimes, things don't work out the way we played."