(Photo from the FIBA website)
States the need for better and longer preparation period for the third window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers
After sweeping through the first window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers last year, Gilas Pilipinas bowed down to the much taller Australian squad on their away game in Melbourne to open the second window before barely holding on for a much much-needed win against the persistent Japanese squad in front of the sea of Filipino fans inside the Mall of Asia Arena last Sunday. That win was only secured when Jayson Castro, who sat out the game against Australia, scored on a well-guarded floater in the dying seconds of the game. To begin with, the outcome of the Gilas-Japan game could have gone Japan's way if Jayson Castro, Jio Jalalon, and Troy Rosario weren't around.
Despite the win, Chot Reyes isn't very much pleased with the outcome especially considering the mere fact that Gilas allowed Japan to erase a double-digit deficit to come within two points in the final minute. If you have seen Chot Reyes' facial expression after the Blur scored on that dagger shot, it's as if he was saying, " Thank God that Jayson was there," Why?
Despite Andray Blatche leading the way with 18 points and 16 rebounds against Japan, turnovers, and lack of consistent defense especially from the three-point line almost doomed the Filipinos in front of their home crowd. But that's not the only thing that has been bothering Coach Chot Reyes.
Enough time for preparations
After their win against Japan, Chot Reyes has said that he isn't dwelling too much in the third window of the Asian Qualifiers which is scheduled to take place this June with a home against Australia scheduled. However, the national coach stressed the need for a longer preparation period especially if the PBA wants Gilas Pilipinas to win against Australia and Chinese-Taipei. In fact, for the second window Gilas started working things out by January of this year but the complete roster was only announced just a few days before the Australia game. Some of the players were out due to injuries and despite the fact that the PBA is no longer strict on the "one player per team rule", Chot Reyes said that it's useless for the team to get as many players as they want if they don't have enough practice time.
The Good News Though
If anything, we still have hope that Gilas and the PBA will eventually come to a better understanding as to what adjustments are needed to be made for Gilas to have more practices for the upcoming third window as PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial and Coach Chot Reyes are in constant talks to hopefully find solutions that will benefit both the national team and the PBA.