Coach Chot Reyes
Coach Chot Reyes

[box type=”default” size=”large”] Inexperience cited as reason for losses in close games [/box]

SEVILLA, Spain — Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes credited his “unpredictable and unconventional” style of coaching for causing havoc on opposing teams, saying it made Gilas difficult to scout.

Though Gilas failed to advance to the second or knockout phase of the FIBA World Cup in Madrid where, he said, the team deserved to go, the close matchups with four of the five teams the Philippines faced was a strong testimony that the tactic worked beautifully and efficiently.

“All the coaches I talked with said we were the most difficult to scout,” he said, adding “a hell to scout.”

The Philippines won just one game, an 81-79 win over Senegal in overtime, but lost three close games against Croatia (also in overtime), Argentina and Puerto Rico. Only Greece managed to win by double digits while the margin of defeat in the three defeats averaged just four points.

“We played in a style not seen before,” said Reyes who also blasted those who second-guessed his choice of players in crucial matches such as limiting June Mar Fajardo in games against Argentina and Puerto Rico.

“We have different tactics for each game,” he said. “As you may have noticed, different players starred in different games.”

“It was Jeff Chan in Game 1, Norwood in Game 2, Jimmy Alapag in Game 3, LA Tenorio in Game 4 and June Mar and Alapag in Game 5. Tell me a team here which has different top scorers each game.”

What did the Philippines in was its inexperience.

“It’s not choking,” he said of the mind-boggling end-game collapses that marred games with Croatia, Argentina and Puerto Rico and nearly, the game against Senegal.

“The players were simply not used to getting this opportunity, thinking that they could win.

“They just froze, we were freezing at the thought we could actually win the game. Take Blatche,” he said. “This guy is a veteran NBA player but he’s a FIBA rookie.”

“We try to give him the ball each time in the crucial stages, but he just passes the ball, not wanting to take the last shot.”

He said that if only the breaks were with the Philippines and players did not freeze, Gilas would be in Madrid for the next phase.

He knew good games were to be made against Croatia and Senegal as per their analysis.

“Croatia because it is first game and we can surprise them,” said Reyes. “Then Senegal because we have the game to beat them.”

He admitted he was surprised at how well Gilas played against Argentina and against Puerto Rico, whose star player, NBA veteran JJ Barea, was just too much to handle, and that Gilas had no tactic against him.

But he credited the coaching staff for coming up with the strategy that befuddled the opponents.

He said he was not about to use the Euro style of basketball because “we cannot out-Greek Greece or out-Croatia Croatia. We probably would have lost against them by 20 points or more.”

The American-style of basketball was also different, it uses power and it’s scientific, so we didn’t apply them.

“So we devised our own. We had to play differently, hindi di numero, not precise, and that confounded our opponents.

“We stayed in the game because we played unconventional, unpredictable and we were willing to take risks.” (Manila Bulletin)