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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Chot: We can compete against world’s best

GILAS Pilipinas showed it can compete against the world’s top teams.

Coach Chot Reyes said this after Gilas lost its third straight game, this time to Italy, 83-90, on Tuesday as the nationals head into the classification stage of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023.

“We have shown that we can compete and even lead against these tough teams. We’re just not able to put an entire game together,” said Reyes, who brushed off the boos of the fans at the Araneta Coliseum.

Up next for Gilas are classification matches, against the third and fourth placers of Group B, South Sudan and China, on Thursday and Saturday.

The schedules will still be determined by the outcome of the Group B matches, with the Chicago Bulls’ guard Carlik Jones-led South Sudan still meeting Serbia.

China, with Minnesota Timberwolves guard Kyle Anderson on board, is still taking on Puerto Rico.

Italy’s win happened in front of 11,821 fans as it secured a Top 16 spot for the 10th time in 10 World Cup appearances.

This was after the Azzuris settled for second place in Group A with a 2-1 record, while the Philippines placed last in the bracket at 0-3.

The Philippines became the first host team since Colombia in 1982 to lose their first three games in the tournament.

Ten teams are already out of contention for the second round with the Philippines among them.

This includes Angola, France, Finland, Japan, Lebanon, Egypt, Iran, Jordan and Mexico.

But Gilas and the other nine squads are still involved in important games in the classification phase.

The outcome of their games will count towards qualification for the 2024 Olympics and the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments.

So far, Australia, Dominican Republic and Italy are in the second round with  Canada, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Spain and the United States.

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