THREE out of three.The Gilas Pilipinas National team is showing everyone why it is the perennial favorite to win the Southeast Asia Basketball Association Championship.
The Nationals have yet to lose in their first three games and they’ve not only cruised through their first victories, they dominated.
As expected, Gilas Pilipinas is yet to be challenged as it won by gigantic margins, 107 against Myanmar, 47 over Singapore and 55 against Malaysia.
National coach Chot Reyes and his wards are three more wins away from capturing yet another SEABA crown.
However, Reyes knows there’s still a lot of work to be done, especially when two of the top three teams in the tournament are yet to take on Gilas.
“We still have a long way to go. We’re doing what we’re supposed to do so far and we can’t be complacent. The tougher part of the tournament is ahead us now,” said Reyes.
The mentor added that the team is continuing to develop and find its way in the middle of the tournament.
“We’ve had some great moments so far and we’ve also had some brief down times, but what’s important for us is that we’re continuing to grow as a team,” Reyes said.
Indonesia and Thailand, considered to be the two countries that can, at the least, make the Philippines sweat, are what’s in store for Gilas in two of its last three assignments, the other one being Vietnam.
After getting an off yesterday following three straight days of play over the weekend, the Nationals plunge back to action against a tough Thailand side today at 7 p.m. as they seek for win No. 4
The Thais are showing that they can hold their ground, but they suffered a heartbreaking 59-60 setback at the hands of the Indonesians last Saturday.
There is no playoffs for the tournament. The team which gets the highest placing or record after the single-round robin will be crowned the champion and get a qualification for the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup.
The tourney ends on Thursday with the Philippines and Indonesia being the main attraction in what will most likely become the game that decides the champion.
After winning three straight games, Gilas Pilipinas, however, still needs a lot work in the way it takes on its opponents.
And patience will now have to play a vital part in the character of their game.
Reyes said this after his team crushed Malaysia, 106-51, Sunday.
“We have to continue to be patient and yet aggressive in our defense,” said Reyes, adding that the improvements will come with the team as time goes by.
“This team is a work in progress, and that’s going to come with time. We still need to learn how to move the ball a lot quicker, a lot faster,” he added.