Chot Reyes credits late night practice for Gilas Pilipinas' effort vs Indonesia | Inquirer Sports

Chot Reyes credits late night practice for Gilas Pilipinas’ effort vs Indonesia

/ 11:16 PM May 15, 2023

Gilas Pilipinas in the SEA Games 2023. –CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/Ariya Kurniawan | Instagram @ariyakurniawan16

Gilas Pilipinas in the SEA Games 2023. –CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/Ariya Kurniawan | Instagram @ariyakurniawan16

MANILA, Philippines–A last-minute practice around midnight, it turns out, afforded Gilas Pilipinas the boost it needed to survive champion Indonesia in the semifinals of the 32nd Southeast Asian Games’ basketball competition on Monday.

“We practiced until midnight the last time. We had to wait until the Thailand-Indonesia game was over to know what to prepare for, and that paid off tonight. In the fourth quarter, especially,” national coach Chot Reyes said shortly after the 84-76 come-from-behind win at Morodok Techo National Stadium in Phnom Penh.

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“I think the most important thing was we kept ourselves close throughout the game. (Indonesia) made a hell of a run to start the game, and then threw haymaker after haymaker but we just hung in there. A lot of that was due to that practice we put in,” he went on.

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Justin Brownlee was at the cutting edge of that Gilas Pilipinas attack in the fourth, pouring 15 of his 34 points in that period.

Gilas Pilipinas' Justin Brownlee vs Indonesia defenders in the SEA Games 2023 men's basketball match. –TEAM PHILIPPINES POOL

Gilas Pilipinas’ Justin Brownlee vs Indonesia defenders in the SEA Games 2023 men’s basketball match. –TEAM PHILIPPINES POOL

Also coming through during that stretch were Marcio Lassiter, Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser, and Chris Newsome, making sure Timnas never got the lead back.

GilasPilipinas actually trailed by as many as 11 points but kept the Indonesians within striking range going into the final period.

“Just with anything in life, if you don’t give up you continue to give yourself a chance. And I thought tonight because we didn’t give up. We gave ourselves a chance,” Reyes said.

The Filipinos gained a measure of payback in the victory as they sent the team that unseated them last year in Hanoi, Vietnam, to the battle for third against Thailand.

When asked if the win made things even for the Philippines, Reyes was swift with his answer.

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“No,” he said. “We came here to win the gold. We thought it would be against Indonesia but as I said, in a competition, anything can happen. It turns out now it has to be against Cambodia.”

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Gilas battles Cambodia once again this Tuesday, this time for the gold medal, in a contest set 4 p.m. (Manila time).

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TAGS: Cambodia SEA Games, Gilas Pilipinas

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