MANILA, Philippines -- The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) on Wednesday apologized after Philippine basketball teams performed below expectations in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The Philippines entered the SEA Games as defending champions in men's and women's 5-on-5 and men's and women's 3x3, but only the Gilas Pilipinas Women were able to retain their gold medal.
The men's 3x3 team settled for bronze and the women's 3x3 squad missed the podium entirely. The Gilas Pilipinas men's team stumbled at the last hurdle on Sunday, bowing to Indonesia, 85-81, to settle for the silver medal.
It was the first time since 1989 that the Philippines did not win men's basketball gold in the SEA Games, ending a run of 13 consecutive championships in the biennial competition.
"We at the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas share the disappointment of our Filipino basketball fans and take full responsibility with the results of our 31st Southeast Asian Games campaign," SBP president Al Panlilio said in a statement on Wednesday, as the federation finally broke its silence.
"We apologize we fell short and were not able to give our teams better support that they needed to retain the gold," he added.
Stressing that they are not offering any excuses, Panlilio concluded by saying that the federation has "learned valuable lessons."
"We will bounce back and reclaim our spot to stay ahead," he vowed.
The SBP did not immediately identify the next steps it will take regarding the Gilas Pilipinas men's team. The squad will return to action in late June for the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers in New Zealand, before competing in the FIBA Asia Cup 2022 in Jakarta, Indonesia in July.
It was reported by Korean media on Tuesday that Gilas will play the South Korean national team in tune-up matches in June, but team manager Butch Antonio did not reply to a request for confirmation.
The Philippines will co-host the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 with Indonesia and Japan next year.