Why do the Gilas Pilipinas keeps losing close games?

The Philippine Men’s National basketball team, popularly known as Gilas Pilipinas, suffered another excruciating loss, 68-63, in the hands of the Iranians.

Gilas Pilipinas reaped all the accolades despite a 1-4 record in the FIBA World Cup in Spain several weeks ago. The Filipino players as well as the coaching staff were praised because of almost winning those close games, losing 81-78 to Croatia, 85-81 to Argentina, 82-70 to Greece, 77-73 to Puerto Rico. Gilas won one of the closest games against Portugal, 81-79.

Those four losses in the FIBA World Cup were acceptable because Gilas Pilipinas was facing much taller opponents than them. They were cheered and admired because of the effort. With all the large amount of money spent to build a powerhouse team that aims to capture the Gold Medal in the Asian Games, Gilas Pilipinas must win those games regardless of their opponents.

Filipino fans are not new to basketball at all. They understand basketball and the way the game was played. They might be whispering, (“Sana ganito ang ginawa…”, Sana ipinasok si ganito… bakit di pa inaalis si ganito) “I hope this is what they’ll do… I hope they would put in…Why they let him stay in the ballgame?…)

Here are five reasons why the Gilas Pilipinas basketball team keeps losing tight games.

1. Who are the first five?

Everybody respects coach Chot Reyes. He is an intelligent in terms of basketball strategies. The Blow Sports ranked him the fifth greatest coach of all time in Philippine basketball. However, Reyes must have his best five in the floor at end game. The “best five” players means the core and the nucleus of the team.

In those four close losses, including the game against Iran, Reyes decided always to play those players who were playing well or in Filipino “mainit” or hot. He has always started with LA Tenorio at the point and ended up with Jimmy Alapag in the last two minutes? Though Reyes knows his team better, he has to look at the way other coaches do.

2. When to take out a player?

June Mar Fajardo turned the ball over several times against Iran. Passes that slipped through his fingers, rebounds that he should have grabbed, and fouls he should not have committed and even complaining that ended up for two free throws on the opposing team, but the coaching staff of Gilas Pilipinas allowed him to stay until the last three minutes. Fajardo never was productive when he was on the floor, why let him stay that long?

3. How two minutes are being played?

Because the best five players, who know and trust each other, are not on the floor, Gilas Pilipinas couldn’t make up plays. Marcus Douthit, Mark Pingris, Gabe Norwood, Jeff Chan, and Paul Lee were the players in the last three minutes and they never got into a groove of scoring. Where was Tenorio or Alapag at the crucial stage against Iran? How about putting Ranidel De ocampo, instead of Pingris at this stretch?

4. Who is the go to guy?

When the game is on the line, who is the man to take the crunch shot? Tim Cone and the San Mig Coffee were successful in the last two years because of the presence of James Yap, who bailed the team out in close games. Who is the man who takes the shot?

5. When to call a time out?

In Philippine basketball, everybody loves how Robert Jaworski drew out his plays for Ginebra in the dying seconds. It has been a tradition that when the opposing team made a basket inside the last one minute, a time out is being called by the other team.

It has been a coaching pattern for coach Reyes to call a timeout after the other team drained a basket inside the one minute mark. The problem with this style of coaching would be that the defense would have a chance to anticipate and to read the play. It would always be a disadvantage for the offense as the defense of the other team would be given time to prepare and to defend well.

If the best five players are on the floor, why call a timeout? They should have a play that has been practiced and even perfected, that when needed, they will execute without calling a timeout.

There would be close games again for Gilas Pilipinas, we expect them to win them all.

You are free to comment…

Garry loves writing, editing and ranking keywords in the search engines. He has been writing and promoting his blogs in the past seven years. His passion for writing leads him create this sports news site.

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