Reyes wary of winless but dangerous Akatsuki Five
Paul Lintag on Feb 24, 2018 11:23 PM
"It's upon us to bring in our best game tomorrow." --- Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes as gets his team ready against Japan.
While the Philippines has had its history of success against Japan when it comes to basketball, national team head coach Chot Reyes is still wary of the Akatsuki Five ahead of their rematch Sunday in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
For one, the Japanase are currently winless and on the verge of elimination. A team like that is always a tough one.
"When your back is against the wall, you have a funny way of getting your focus sharp," Reyes said Saturday on the eve of the Japan rematch.
"Because your back is against the wall, you have no room for error. That's always a dangerous opponent. Japan is dangerous as it is but now, because of the stakes, they're doubly dangerous. That's why it's upon us to bring in our best game tomorrow," he added.
The second thing that makes Reyes wary about the Japanase is the fact that despite Gilas playing a home game, their travel time was much longer than their opponents.
The visitors are coming in from Tokyo while the Philippine team arrived Friday night after playing a road game in Australia.
With that in mind, Reyes is banking on a raucous MOA Arena crowd for a shot in the arm as they take on the Akatsuki Five.
"I like the fact that we're playing at home. I said it before, we are, in the fatigue department, we are more worn down than them because we played a tougher opponent and we came from a much longer trip," Reyes said.
"That's why we're banking on the crowd, hopefully the home crowd gives us a lift. Hopefully they give us that adrenaline shot that we need to compete with Japan," he added.
In their previous showdown in Tokyo back in February, Gilas Pilipinas secured a 77-71 win over Japan.
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