What they say about Gilas' Fiba stint?

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014


SUFFERING from back-to-back defeats, touted underdog Gilas Pilipinas still managed to put up impressive performances in the ongoing group phase of the 2014 Fiba World Cup in Spain.

The Chot Reyes-coached Gilas bowed to Greece, 70-82, early yesterday morning (Philippine time) after a thrilling 78-81 overtime loss to Croatia on opening day.

City Hall Executives' ace shooter Christopher "Bong" Go, executive assistant of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte, said the Croatia defeat was "heartbreaking" while the loss to Greeks was inevitable, saying: "Maybe it also shows the height supremacy of other teams in the World Cup. We are not losing hope, miracles do happen. We have the heart or puso."

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Newly-crowned Kadayawan Inter-Collegiate Basketball Tournament champion coach Bambi Santander of DMMA College of Southern Philippines (DCSP) Mariners said the first loss was just "breaks of the game".

"Sa ikaduh ang dula, kulang ug katimbang si Blatche (Andray Blatche didn't get the help he needed in the second game of the Gilas). Sa conditioning at speed meron tayo pati talent kaso lang kulang tayo sa big men," Santander said in a text message to Sun.Star Davao.

For former Sports Development Division of the City Mayor's Office (SDD-CMO) officer-in-charge and basketball coach Pochollo Elegino said two Philippines' past two games showed that the team "lacks the inside presence".

"From rebounding, post defense, inside threat. Kulang lang talaga tayo sa height. But you can never question their will to win, "puso" and effort. They're playing inspired basketball defying all the odds. They never backed down on the challenge and faced it head on," Elegino said.

He added that Gilas need precision, execution and mental toughness to survive in big leagues such as the Fiba World Cup. "They showed they could play with the big boys and still there's so much to learn about international basketball."

Goldstar Hardware coach Ice Gravador, who steered the team to clinch its Kadayawan commercial basketball title recently, said Gilas had chance to win against Croatia. "We hit our outside shots, especially from the second quarter until the end of the game. Our bigs held their ground on defense and didn't give a lot of offensive rebounds. It was all heart. We just fell short."

Agro-Industrial Foundation College of the Philippines (AIFCP) Sailors coach Roderick Conda, for his part, said, "Under size tayo tapos pag hindi pumapasok yong mga tira sa labas, talo na tayo."

Gilas were set to play Fiba World No. 3 Argentina at 11:30 p.m. Monday, Philippine time, and will collide with Puerto Rico tomorrow at 7:30 p.m.
Gilas games are aired live over TV5.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 02, 2014.

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