In a tournament where there is little room for error, Gilas needs to step it up a notch on defense.
Gilas Pilipinas is still wanting as far as defense is concerned.
This was coach Chot Reyes' blunt assessment when he faced members of the media after Gilas' open practice at the PhilSports Arena on Tuesday night.
Reyes was obviously still not happy, at least on the defensive end, citing Gilas' 102-87 loss against Nikola Vucevic’s Montenegro in a closed-door tune-up game on Sunday.
“When we played against Montenegro we gave up a 100 points, so I don’t think that was really good defense,” he said. “It showed that there's still a lot for us to work on in our defense.”
It doesn’t mean there are no positives in this department, though.
“I think we showed some flashes of defensive brilliance,” he said.
Gilas needs to get all bases covered with the 2023 FIBA World Cup kicking off on Friday and the team facing Karl-Anthony Towns and the Dominican Republic at the Philippine Arena.
In a previous interview, Reyes had already admitted that there is little room for error against World Cup teams like Montenegro.
But while there are hiccups the team needs to address, things are looking up for the Jordan Clarkson-led Gilas, especially after beating Ivory Coast on Friday and nearly overcoming Mexico on Monday even sans Clarkson.
All those positives, though, will be for naught if Gilas doesn't zone in on D come the FIBA World Cup.