Most of the two-hour practice on Sunday was spent on defensive tactics to stop the Japanese offense.
Assistant coaches Norman Black and Josh Reyes broke down the details of how Gilas Pilipinas should defend Japan, while coach Chot Reyes tested different players in drills to see how they would cover different spots.
After talking defense, the team spent a little time on light shooting drills.
“At this stages, we cannot go really hard. We have to be prepared for the other team for their offense. As you can see, our offense takes care of itself,” head coach Reyes told InterAKTV in an exclusive interview.
For Gilas, the effectiveness of its defense has directly led to on-court success. Against Jordan last Friday, the team rallied back and opened up the game in the third quarter using suffocating pressure against opposing ballhandlers.
During the second and third quarters against Chinese Taipei, the Filipinos also held their own against their opponents, even taking a 13-point lead. But their defensive intensity let up in the fourth period, allowing the Taiwanese to rally back.
“If we can make stops, that will allow us to run, so yun ang problema namin sa fourth quarter last night,” said Reyes. “We made our run when we made stop after stop. We’re pretty hard to stop when we’re running.”
He said the team doesn’t want to repeat the same mistakes it committed in their first loss.
“The style of Chinese Taipei, Japan, and Korea are the same. We just have to be more active on defense,” he added.