Sat. Sep 23rd, 2023

Jordan Clarkson leads the Philippines to a win within the Fiba World Cup. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.internet

(Second of a sequence)

After stepping down as Gilas Pilipinas head coach, Chot Reyes made certain he would make clear simply how a lot he was accountable for a botched Fiba  World Cup marketing campaign.

There have been different lapses, he mentioned. However these lapses had been simply the floor of the story.

“I do know we should always’ve crushed Angola,” he instructed the Inquirer on Wednesday. “I believe that was the actually large downside. We had been so targeted on the Dominican Republic.”

It was in these two opening World Cup losses that one other key criticism of his teaching fashion got here to the fore: He put an excessive amount of of the offense on Jordan Clarkson’s again.

“Sure [that happened],” Reyes mentioned. “I admit, there have been occasions when it actually regarded unhealthy.”

“And that’s once more due to the shortage of [preparation]. In case you suppose again, we had been enjoying nicely in China, issues had been okay: The ball motion, the [movement of the] gamers. We had been already attending to that degree [that we wanted to be],” he added. “However all of us knew the way it was going to be when Jordan arrived. We had no concept how we’d react [with] the way in which [other teams would defend Clarkson].”

Reyes gamely took on the factors raised in opposition to him, but additionally took day out to elucidate the behind-the-scenes issues that handcuffed him in the course of the crew’s run to the worldwide basketball showcase.

The nationwide program, Reyes mentioned, regarded for tactics to fly Jordan Clarkson and Kai Sotto as early as doable, penciling July 25 as the best date for the crew to start training collectively. And when the logistical issues left the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) unable to take action, the crew tried to guide a flight to Los Angeles, the place Clarkson was primarily based, to carry the coaching to him.

“We tried to be those to fly to LA to coach with Jordan. However loads of us had no US visas and that’s not straightforward to get. Then we had been coming from Europe. And after we arrived, we surrendered our passports to course of our journey to China. So there have been so many logistical issues and although we wished to go to the US final week of July, we couldn’t do it,” Reyes mentioned.

The issues with Clarkson meant Justin Brownlee was constantly in play as an choice for the naturalized participant’s spot. Actually, Reyes mentioned, Brownlee’s harm was a turning level for this system.

“The massive blow for us was the harm to Justin Brownlee,” Reyes mentioned. “That took away our flexibility. When he received injured, we had been nonetheless making an attempt to salvage the Jordan Clarkson scenario, to [either] get him in earlier or for us to go [to train with him in LA] earlier.

“And if we couldn’t [do either of that], a minimum of now we have Justin.”

Gilas additionally encountered the identical form of downside when it went to a pocket match in China, which prompted one other wave of delays. The crew was solely in a position to observe at full power—with Clarkson and Kai Sotto—on Aug. 18 at PhilSports Enviornment.

And that spelled bother.

The champion coach additionally addressed insinuations that he was enjoying favorites together with his rotation, with critics stating his reference to utilizing Kiefer Ravena. He mentioned there was a mistake there, however not the one he was getting bashed for.

“The error really, particularly in opposition to the Dominican Republic, was we should always have performed Kiefer extra,” Reyes mentioned, referring to the large second quarter that Ravena had and the way the previous Ateneo star now not performed within the second half.

‘Studying expertise’

On his penchant for utilizing “studying expertise” as a option to soften pre-World Cup losses, he mentioned the educational was evident in the way in which the gamers carried out and the way in which the crew performed.

“Didn’t they see how nicely Rhenz Abando [played]? Was Abando a product of magic, his recreation simply bettering? Isn’t that as a result of he discovered from our stint in Estonia?

AJ Edu. Did he simply come out of the woodwork? And Dwight Ramos, was he already that good? I believe all of those guys who had been enjoying nicely discovered from their expertise,” Reyes mentioned.

“That’s No. 1. Quantity two is that they’re saying I couldn’t win winnable video games. What do they need, that we get routed proper from the very begin? They’re attributing to me the truth that we can not shut out video games. However they don’t seem to be attributing to me the truth that we’re shut in these video games within the first place.

“They referred to as me “Choke” Reyes. What’s the No. 1 requirement so that you can choke? You must be within the recreation first. We had been in each recreation. We put ourselves ready to win in each recreation and I attribute that to the educational that we had as a result of we knew the way to play [teams like] Italy.”

Reyes admitted that the World Cup stint was a failure, and has stepped apart to permit the SBP to recalibrate the nationwide program.

However he had all the time envisioned one thing big for Gilas Pilipinas.

“We knew it was going to be tough. However we had been assured as a result of we knew with the kind of preparation we had been going to have the perfect crew prepared in the course of the World Cup,” he mentioned. “Clearly, we didn’t see the accidents and the issues with participant availabilities.”

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