SEABA’s leading scorer comes up empty against Gilas
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on May 16, 2017 10:02 PM
NO GO. Hobbled by a hurting left leg, Chitchai Ananti was unable to put up his usual numbers against Gilas.
On their fourth game in the 2017 SEABA Championship, Gilas Pilipinas was expected to finally be put to the test by Thailand.
And with good measure as the Thais had on their side the tournament’s erstwhile leading scorer.
Swingman Chitchai Ananti came into the highly-anticipated matchup averaging 24 points on 37 percent shooting to go along with 6.5 rebounds and two assists, all in 31.5 minutes of play.
Up against the home team, however, the 26-year-old had nothing to show for his troubles, finishing without any points, missing all three of his attempts, and committing one turnover.
As it turns out, the Filipinos did indeed make it a point to stop Ananti. “We came to this ball game with the defensive focus of stopping (Ananti) because we knew he can flatout play. He scores in a lot of ways so we challenged our defenders to lock him down,” head coach Chot Reyes shared.
Reyes then went on to laud the efforts of RR Pogoy who started the game opposite the six-foot-five Thai before turning the defensive duties to the more than capable hands of Calvin Abueva. “I thought that was important to our defensive gameplan: to shut down their best scorer,” he said.
Ananti himself was quick to admit how thorough the Philippine gameplan was. “They prepared the defensive gameplan well. I was set out on an island and didn’t get the ball,” he expressed in his native tongue.
He then continued, “We weren’t challenged by bigger opponents in the past games. Against Gilas, it was harder to go inside and create my usual rhythm.”
Of course, it also has to be mentioned that Ananti is nursing left leg injury.
Nonetheless, Thailand’s top gun said he and his teammates have no regrets. As he put it, “We did our best. We pushed Gilas up to a certain point.”
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