Rushing Seaba preparations | Inquirer Sports
In Huddle

Rushing Seaba preparations

/ 02:25 AM May 05, 2017

Gilas coach Chot Reyes is hopeful that after the three-game series with the PBA All-Stars, his national squad will be in peak form in time for the May 12 to 18 Southeast Asia Basketball Association (Seaba) Championships at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Right after their come-from-behind victory against the Visayan All-Stars, 125-112, on Sunday, Reyes declared that they have a lot of work to do especially on defense.

Reyes observed his squad gave up 60 points in the first half in all their three games and admitted that it was a very alarming situation considering they played tough opponents.

In Cagayan de Oro, the Mindanao All-Stars raced to a 5-0 lead and was up by four at the half before Gilas cracked the whip and burned the hoops with 38 points. But the All-Stars battled back to settle for a standoff, 114-all.

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In Lucena City, Gilas came all the way back from 17 points down, 81-64, in the third quarter and unleashed a 17-1 run to beat the Luzon All-Stars, 122-111.

“In our game Sunday, we had 12 turnovers in the first half alone. Obviously, they’re still not well familiar with each other. We have 10 days to understand each other’s tendencies and more importantly the roles they will play”, said Reyes.

The veteran national coach plans a twice-a-day training session for the national team.

Reyes said the new Gilas guys—6-foot-8 Raymond Almazan, Jio Jalalon, Allein Maliksi, Matthew Wright and RR Pogoy—have yet to fully grasp the system. But he sees great promise in all of them.

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Naturalized player Andray Blatche, the last piece that will complete Reyes’ 12–man roster, was due to arrive from Atlanta this Friday after taking a break from the Chinese Basketball Association.

He will immediately join training sessions with the locals before plunging into the tournament, where only the winner qualifies to represent the Southeast Asians sub-zone in the FIBA Asia Cup in Beirut in August.

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Reyes admitted though that he cannot rely on Blatche too much as he doesn’t know his condition yet and his assimilation with the locals in a short period of time is still a question mark.

Definitely, Blatche will struggle with jetlag and since the Seaba tournament will start May 12, he has only seven days to adjust to Reyes’ new system.

Meanwhile, Samahang Basketbal ng Pilipinas executive director Sonny Barrios is keeping his fingers crossed that none of the players would get injured during practice because the tournament is already so close .

Barrios said Reyes is very excited because the team is so young and has a lot of promise.

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It has an average age of 27.1 years with Japeth Aguilar, Jason Castro and Blatche at 30. Five of them are 25 or younger—Terrence Romeo, Troy Rosario and Wright are 25, while Jalalon and Pogoy are 24.

TAGS: Chot Reyes, In Huddle

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