Chot Reyes hopes Gilas did the Philippines proud at FIBA World Cup
Despite a historic 81-79 victory over Senegal that ended the Philippines' 40-year drought in the world basketball stage, Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes couldn't help but hide his disappointment after the game.
The national team had lost four straight games — three of which went down the wire — robbing the Philippines of a chance to head into the playoff rounds of the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Still, the fact the Gilas performed so well against some of the world's top teams bring solace for Reyes and his team.
"When you put everything in perspective, our goal was to reintroduce Philippines to world stage and we hope we did our country proud," he said in an interview on TV5.
Gilas had come in as huge underdogs to start the competition, with an ESPN metric ranking the team as the worst heading into the World Cup.
But the Philippines quickly sprung a surprise by taking traditional European basketball power Croatia to overtime in their opening game.
Gilas followed that up with a tough loss to Greece, which has dominated Group B so far.
The Philippines then fought gallantly in close defeats to Argentina and Puerto Rico, taking leads in the first half of each of those games before falling short in the end.
Those defeats doomed the Philippines from heading into the round of 16, before the squad closed the chapter on its run with a magical overtime win over Senegal. — JST, GMA News/Photo courtesy of FIBA.com