Chot Reyes still ‘very proud’ of Gilas Pilipinas’ effort in loss to Italy
MANILA, Philippines—Despite a winless campaign in Group A in the 2023 Fiba World Cup, Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes said he was “very proud” of how his team fought in their loss to Italy on Tuesday at Araneta Coliseum.
Gilas fell to world No. 10-ranked Italy, 90-83, but Reyes still had some positive things to say about his wards.
“[I’m] very proud of the effort of our players. What a way to fight coming off those two painful losses and still show up tonight to give it their all against a top 10 team in the world,” said Reyes.
“[I] couldn’t ask for more. They just came up short but we continued to fight.”
After going on a streaky first quarter where they led, 23-20, the Philippines found out why the Azzurri were huge threats on offense after scoring 28 quarter points in the second to take a 48-39 lead at the half.
After struggling from the outside against the Dominican Republic and Angola, Italy regained its offensive groove with 17 3-pointers.
Jordan Clarkson, who finished with a team-high 23 points, seven rebounds and six assists, also had some positive takeaways.
“We’re super motivated. The team is strong, we fight, we’re not giving up throughout the whole game. Basketball is a game of shots and ups and downs,” said the Utah Jazz guard.
“We go out there to fight and compete until the end of the horn,” he added.
Gilas still has games to play in the classification round where one of the teams it could likely face is rival China, which is currently winless in Group B at 0-2.