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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

‘Adjustment’ needed in must-win tussle vs. Angola

There are only two remaining games which Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes hopes to tuck away in a bid to keep the team’s chances of making it to the Olympics in Paris in 2024.

The 8 p.m. date with Angola tonight (Sunday) at the Smart Araneta Coliseum is a game Gilas could not afford to lose.

Another loss will relegate Gilas to the bottom of Group A, making the team kiss goodbye the next phase of the FIBA World Cup.

“It’s a different team, but Angola pressures the ball as much as the Dominican Republic did so definitely, we have to make some adjustments in our offense,” said Reyes of the error-prone Gilas Pilipinas.

“We had 19 turnovers and that was big. We shot the ball well. We shot the ball better than Dominican (Republic), but they got a lot more attempts than we did so the story was the 19 turnovers and we gave up 17 offensive rebounds and that was it,” Reyes said.

Observers said players’ rotation is something that Reyes should also look into.

While his two big men, AJ Edub and June Mar Fajardo, sparkled on both ends of the floor, and the ever-reliable Jordan Clarkson shone with 28 markers, Reyes failed to maximize Kai Sotto who only saw action for 73 seconds.

Slasher CJ Perez did not see action at all while Kiefer Ravena was playing well before he was taken out and was not given much exposure thereafter.

Reyes promised to provide more playing time for the 7-3 Sotto against Angola, which parades NBA caliber player Bruno Fernando.

Up next for Gilas is world no. 10 Italy, which could opt to rest its key players for the second round should it succeed in making it 2-0 in the Group Phase against Dominican Republic.

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