Philippines: After Gilas’ failure at FIBA Asia Cup, coach Reyes takes the blame and says ‘the bashers can chill’
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Philippines: After Gilas’ failure at FIBA Asia Cup, coach Reyes takes the blame and says ‘the bashers can chill’

ONE of the benefits of social media is that sportspeople can speak directly to fans – and Philippines coach Chot Reyes has taken the opportunity to accept responsibility for his team’s FIBA Asia Cup failure.

Reyes’ team overcame a chaotic build-up to sweep their group, including a victory over defending champions China, at the tournament in Lebanon.

But they were outgunned by South Korea in the quarter-final, losing 118-86, and then went down 106-87 to hosts Lebanon in the classification semi-final.

Gilas ended the tournament with a 75-70 win over Jordan to secure seventh place, but it was a hollow victory for a team who failed to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 2009.

SEE ALSO: FIBA Asia Cup: Australia crowned champions of Asia on tournament debut in Lebanon

Coach Reyes was denied the services of naturalised player Andray Blatche in Lebanon, had a restricted preparation in terms of practice, and then saw a number of players battle injury.

But he admitted in an Instagram post that the blame was on him, writing: “All shortcomings are mine, so all the bashers can chill.”

The full post read: “Leaving Beirut in a bit. While we failed to get to the semis, I hope everyone acknowledges the effort & sacrifice these #GilasMen put forth.

“Despite the obstacles & difficulties of putting a team together, we continue to put our necks on the line. No excuses. All shortcomings are mine, so all the bashers can chill.

“To those who continue supporting regardless – maraming maraming salamat [thank you very much]! You don’t know how much your messages of support mean to us.

“This is what keeps us going – to fight til we cant fight anymore. For our country. With all our hearts.”

Gilas’ cadet team are competing at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Kuala Lumpur, where they won their opening game by beating Thailand 81-74.

They face Myanmar in their second group game on Tuesday.