Published: July 20, 2013
Gilas Pilipinas is coming home brimming with confidence calling its 10-day New Zealand training and exhibition games a “great experience.”
The national team had a 3-3 record after losing to the ‘Tall Blacks’ 77-76 last Thursday, but the experience it gained playing together helped Gilas Pilipinas improve on several aspects of its game with less than two weeks before the FIBA Asia championship.
Through his Twitter account, Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes is satisfied even with the setback.
“Tall Blacks have only been practicing for 3 days & missing a couple guys. But we played well, esp @DouthitMarcus,” said Reyes through @coachot. “More importantly, we played physical – 2 of their guys bloodied, 1 limped off, all accidental of course. #GilasPilipinas”
The national coach also thanked on Twitter the coaches and officials of New Zealand, saying: “Big TY Coach Nenad Vucinic, Pero Cameroon, & Paul Genare for obliging us w a game even tho ur training just started.” Vucinic is the Tall Blacks head coach, while Cameroon and Genare and two of his three assistant coaches.
His son, coach Josh Reyes, also posted on the popular networking site his own thoughts as one of the assistant coaches of the national team.
“Tough game vs the Tall Blacks. Probably our team’s best game so far. Matched their rugby like physicality and played great basketball throughout the game. Some shady calls especially in the dying seconds but its all good,” said Reyes on the said micro-blogging site.
He also added: “What a great experience playing a FIBA top 20 ranked team like the Tall Blacks. Very thankful to all the people here in New Zealand that made our training here possible. #gilaspilipinas.”
Last Wednesday, Gilas Pilipinas won big against the Auckland Rangers (95-77) that ended a two-game skid following defeats against the NBL All-Stars (85-86) in Napier last Sunday and to the Welington Saints (96-100) last Tuesday.
The Nationals won their first two games both against the Hawkes Bay Hawks.
Gilas Pilipinas will arrive today, and practice session is expected to resume by Monday. This week, the national team is scheduled to play a PBA selection team and also the national team of Kazakhstan, which is in Group D of the FIBA-Asia.