Reyes says no doubt PBA D-League experience helped ‘very tough’ Malaysia
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on May 14, 2017 10:07 PM
LET'S GET PHYSICAL. Malaysia proved to be the toughest test thus far for Gilas Pilipinas.
Malaysia became the latest victim in the Philippines continued dominance in the 2017 SEABA Championship.
Gilas Pilipinas dropped a 55-point hammer on the Malaysians on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Still, head coach Chot Reyes was the first to admit it did not come easy. “We knew that coming in, Malaysia is a very physical, very tough team,” he expressed.
Indeed, 106 points were the least scored while 55 were the most given up by the Filipinos through three games in the tournament.
More than that, however, their opponents matched the typical physical play that Philippine basketball has been known for.
Without a doubt, Malaysia picked up a thing or two from participating in the last two conferences in the PBA D-League. As Reyes put it, “This is a team that played in the (PBA) D-League and that’s where they learned how to get tough, to get physical.”
The Malaysians, under the banner of Blustar Detergent, posted a 0-9 record in the recently-concluded 2017 Aspirants’ Cup. In the 2016 Foundation Cup, they were 2-10.
Now, all but one player in Malaysia’s national team has PBA D-League experience. Center Kek Thai Chan is the only exception.
That is exactly why Gilas, as fully-loaded as they are, had to have extra preparations for the Malaysians. “We told our guys that they (Malaysia) will get up in your grill and pressure you,” he said.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.