By: Musong Castillo of Inquirer November 25,2017 - 10:45 PM

Chot wants Gilas to avoid mistakes they committed vs Japan

Game tomorrow (Smart Araneta Coliseum)

7:30 p.m. – Gilas Pilipinas vs Chinese Taipei

Shortly upon returning home on Saturday, Chot Reyes and the rest of the Gilas Pilipinas coaching staff buckled down to work, dead set on identifying their flaws the night before to improve on a performance he described as a “six.”

Reyes and his staff aren’t looking at Chinese Taipei yet, even with that game just two nights away, as they want to correct all the mistakes that came out in a scary, 77-71 win over Japan in the first window of the Filipinos’ Fiba Asia 2019 World Cup Qualifying schedule in Tokyo.

“We’re still in the gym, viewing (Friday’s game’s) mistakes to correct them,” Reyes told the Inquirer via a text message. “Afterwhich, we talk of Taiwan.”

The Filipinos bungled first half control over the Japanese at Komazawa Olympic gym and trailed in the third period before hammering out the win.
Gilas wasn’t as fluid as it was in the past, with Andray Blatche struggling early.

The Filipinos got the goods from Jason Castro and Blatche in the stretch to survive, and Reyes knows that a stand of the same sort might not do the trick against the Taiwanese, a team that has had relatively bigger success of late against Gilas compared to Japan.

Team Philippines hasn’t lost to Japan since 2014, while Taipei defeated Gilas in 2015 in Manila, during the Fiba Asia World Cup qualifying at Mall of Asia Arena.

One thing going for the Filipinos in the 7:30 p.m. match slated Monday at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao is that the Taiwanese will be coming off an ego-deflating loss much at the same time Gilas was pulling out the win over Japan.

Chinese Taipei, a bitter rival of Team Philippines, will be coming off a 104-66 ripping at the hands of world power Australia, a new inclusion in the region after the organizing Fiba merged Asia and Oceania for this qualifying schedule.

The Taiwanese were held to just 13 points in each of the first two quarters and started the half staring at a 22-point deficit, never getting into the game the rest of the way with the Aussies sheer firepower just too much to handle.

Australia torched the Taiwanese with a 62% clip from the field and 48% from three-point range, with starting forward Daniel Kickert hitting 3-for-5 from that range to finish with 15 points in just over 17 minutes.

Kickert was one of five players in twin digits for the Aussies, the highest-ranked team in the region at ninth.

Gilas versus Chinese Taipei is slated Monday at 7:30 p.m. at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, with the Philippines seeking a sweep of its first window assignments before playing as the underdog against Australia in February.

Quincy Davis III, Taipei’s naturalized center, scored 17 points but had just five rebounds, downplaying the uphill battle in the paint he had against the hulking, agile Aussies.

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