MANILA, Philippines —The Philippines has become the fifth best team in Asia, FIBA announced Thursday morning.
But as far as indications go, Chot Reyes said it’s simply just a tag.
“The rankings [are] simply on paper. In the end it’s how you play on the court,” the longtime Gilas Pilipinas mentor said during a chat on the same day.
“It has nothing to do with the way we play on the court,” he continued. “Tinalo nga natin ‘yung China. Some other teams who are lower ranked than us can also beat us.”
After a dismal showing in the FIBA Asia Cup, the Philippines slid to the 30th spot in the overall rankings. But that wasn’t the only factor in ranking change. Australia and New Zealand, which were both initially classified into the Oceania zone, were grouped alongside Asian teams.
— Denison Dalupang (@sonrd) October 12, 2017
Asia’s top squad is now Australia. Iran, China and New Zealand have secured the second, third and fourth spots, respectively.
“For me, i don’t put much — I guess it’s a gauge of how far we’ve gone,” Reyes added. “But in the end, it doesn’t hold much value to me.”
What the decorated tactician worries about, he shared, is how he can optimize the three weeks he is given to assemble and prepare a squad competing for the Asian Qualifiers leg of the Basketball World Cup.
“Ang importante, we build a team that will have a good chance in beating, obviously, Japan and Taiwan,” Reyes said.
“When we talk about Australia, honestly, I don’t know how we can beat Australia. Remember in the last FIBA Championships, Australia beat an Iran with (Hammad) Haddadi by 30 points,” he added.
“That’s a ‘suntok sa buwan’ to the highest degree. But it is what it is. We’re going to try our best parin,” he closed.
Gilas will open training camp for the global contest on Novenber 3, after the PBA season concludes.