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Gilas five needs pluck

A huge number of OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) celebrated with Gilas Pilipinas on Sunday night after the Filipinos topped Group B in the Fiba Asia Cup and advanced to the quarterfinals outright.

But coach Chot Reyes was quick to remind his gung-ho wards that the way they played in a narrow 80-74 win over rugged Qatar won’t be enough to get the job done when they clash with either Japan or South Korea in the win-or-go home stage on Wednesday night.

Gilas Pilipinas players and coach Chot Reyes (right) pose for photographs on a makeshift stage outside Nouhad Nawfal Sports Complex in Beirut. Behind them are Filipino supporters as they celebrate their victory over Qatar, 80-74, in the Fiba Asia Cup on Sunday. Photo from Fiba.com
“You all know that had we played Korea or Japan tonight, we would be headed home,” Reyes told his players after they blew a 17-point lead and had to withstand a furious finish by the Qataris behind guard Mansour Elhadary.

“No way we’ll win like that,” Reyes was quoted in a story sent by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, which is providing details of Gilas games as no Philippine-based publication managed to beat Lebanon’s visa deadline on time.

Using speed yet again to win a third straight game and playing without big men Christian Standhardinger and June Mar Fajardo, Gilas took command early but then had a cold spell in the fourth quarter, allowing the Qataris to come dangerously close.

Author: Musong Castillo
Full Article: http://sports.inquirer.net/260624/gilas-five-needs-pluck

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