Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes did not hide his disappointment on his wards’ 76-81 loss to Alab Pilipinas in a tune-up match on Saturday at the Meralco gym.
“If we play like this, we better not even go to Japan. We have no chance there. We sucked big time,” lamented Reyes, whose team played without naturalized player Andray Blatche, Japeth Aguilar and Terrence Romeo.
In Gilas 5’s first scrimmage for its November 25 away game against Japan, the national quintet struggled to get its rhythm both on offense and defense to surrender the game to a team mentored by former Gilas skipper Jimmy Alapag.
“Credit to Alab. They really outplayed us. They came in really prepared. They outfought us, they outhustled us and they outshot us. I cannot think of one positive thing in today’s ballgame. We can’t make shots and we can’t defend today,” he added.
Reyes has 10 days to fix things before they depart for Japan on November 21.
“We are not thinking of scouting our opponent (Japan) because we need to find a way to make our team better first before thinking Japan,” said Reyes, who has 13 players in his roster against Alab. “There are lots of things to improve and hopefully there is enough time left.”
Jayson Castro led Gilas with 12 points while June Mar Fajardo added 10.
Alein Maliksi, Kevin Alas, Kiefer Ravena, Roger Pogoy, Matthew Wright, Carl Bryan Cruz, Mac Belo, Gabe Norwood, Raymond Almazan and Calvin Abueva suited up for Gilas.
Import Reggie Okosa led Alab with 21 points, while Paolo Javelona and Lawrence Domingo chipped in 12 points each also for Alab, which is preparing for its second season in the Asean Basketball League set to kick off next week.
Former PBA import Ivan Johnson and Bobby Ray Parks were in attendance but did not play for Alab, which will face defending champion Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions on November 19 in its first game at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Gilas 5 takes a break today en route to a three-day team building that starts Monday in Tagaytay. Reyes expects Blatche to join the team there.