Chot Reyes: We would not have won if we played in Tokyo or somewhere else

Philip Matel on Feb 25, 2018 11:00 PM
Chot: We would not have won if we played in Tokyo
Despite a strong start by Japan that saw them lead as much by 16, 20-4, the tactician expected a sluggish start from his wards, and expected them to slowly rev up as the game went by.

Chot Reyes credited the massive Mall of Asia Arena crowd as one of the factors in the key Gilas Pilipinas run that helped swing the momentum of the game in the national team's 89-84 victory against Japan in the second window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

Fondly called the sixth man, the crowd still roared as Gilas was struggling to score a basket in the first quarter, and then roared and roared some more as Gilas came back and eventually took the lead in the second quarter following a corner triple from returning Troy Rosario.

"We're not hiding the fact that if had played this game in Tokyo or elsewhere, I don't we wouldn't have won. I think the crowd gave us lift, we were counting on the crowd to give us that adrenaline push that would really be our sixth man to the the Japanese team," Reyes said after the game.

"We're really lucky that we were playing at home. Shout out to all out countrymen who came out tonight to cheer. I don't thing we would have been able to make it with the comeback."

Despite a strong start by Japan that saw them lead as much by 16, 20-4, the tactician expected a sluggish start from his wards, and expected them to slowly rev up as the game went by.

"Well we kinda expected that we would struggle coming from that trip. It was a very difficult trip for us coming from Melbourne via Sydney, and so we expected that we would struggle coming from this ball game. "

The 54-year old added that his second unit came in very much prepared for the game, as he used them as a burst of energy, reviving a what seemed to be like dead-in-the-water Gilas team.

Reyes also mentioned that the Japanese visitors would come out strong, as they were already fighting for their lives for a spot in the second round of the qualifiers.

"If you'll notice the guys who got a lot of minutes in the first game, Kiefer, June Mar, Pogoy, even Calvin, before he got into foul trouble. I mean June Mar and Calvin, we were playing the Australia game really with Japan."

And with the team getting the lead, he knew that his expectations had come to fruition, the home crowd had also done its job, rattling the Akatsuki Five to give away their massive lead.

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