Filipino basketball fans took to social media to express dismay after Gilas Pilipinas lost the quarterfinal bid for the FIBA Asia Cup.
The Philippine men’s national basketball team on Tuesday lost in a knockout game against Japan, 101-81, at the Istora Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia. This was the first time the national team cowered to Japan since 2010.
The Nationals led by Bobby Ray Parks posted a 43.8% field goal percentage, making 32 baskets out of 72 attempts compared with Japan’s 48.5% where they made 33 out of their 68 attempts.
This is a higher percentage compared with the two previous losses of Gilas where they posted 37.3% field goal percentage against New Zealand and 43.5% against Lebanon.
How fans reacted
Following this, the team’s loss dominated online conversations with many expressing disappointment over Gilas’ loss.
The name of Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes trended on Twitter Philippines. Some fans are not happy with the coaching system.
“Coach Chot is the coach for Gilas? I thought he stopped coaching Gilas awhile back,” former Barangay Ginebra forward Joe Devance tweeted as he thought Reyes had resigned from Gilas.
“I don’t think we can put into words what Gilas means to us fans. Realistically, we know we’re not very good. We’ve also been screwed by the guys in suits many a time and yet, here we are supporting and hoping they do well,” a Twitter user said.
They particularly criticized Reyes’ “trust the process” and “learning experience” reasoning every time the team loses.
“Trash the Process, Learning Experience Gilas Pilipinas,” a Twitter user said.
“Learning experience? b******* Trust the process? B*******. We’ll eventually get there? B*******. Immediate change needs to be done. I don’t know who will be affected, but one thing is for sure: the players don’t deserve this. and most especially, the fans don’t deserve this,” user @ernestmartin_ said in a Tweet.
Fans also brought up the recent Southeast Asian Games where Gilas settled for silver after an upset from Indonesia.
“We lost to Indonesia in the SEA Games, placing 2nd in the tournament, [for] the first time since 1989. We failed to secure a spot in the Fiba Asia Cup, the first time since 2007 despite a sweep in the final window of the qualifiers last year. The Chot Reyes effect,” user @0523Mark also said in a tweet.
“We appreciate what you did back in 2013 but it’s time to move on. You’re not the one who’s going to take us to the promise land anymore. Enough is Enough. You’re making Philippine Basketball a laughing stock already. The Silver Medal Finish back in the Southeast Asian games was already a sign that you’re not the right guy for the job. It takes to be a man to admit that it’s time to give the responsibility to others who are deserving,” Facebook user Brian Calivozo said.
The Nationals never lost the SEAG basketball title since 1991.
Gilas’ next appearance will be in the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers in August which is expected to be reinforced by Filipino-American Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson.
For his part, Reyes apologized for falling short of making it to the Top 8.
“Well, obviously, the result is not what we wanted. Again, we are very sorry that we’ve disappointed a lot of our countrymen, our fellow Filipinos,” Reyes was quoted in a report as saying.
He cited that they brought a “very young team.”
“Like I said, we brought a very young team here and the experience is just going to make them better. To be able to be exposed to that kind of intensity and level of play here in the Asia Cup, there is not one player on our team in the 12 players that have been in the Asia Cup. This is all their first time,” Reyes said.
“So, like I said, we wished to get at least into the top eight but we weren’t able to get the job done,” he added.
Other sports in spotlight
Meanwhile, personalities suggested allocating more resources to other sports aside from basketball, following the victory of the Philippine Women’s Football team at the ASEAN Football Women’s Football championship.
“Time to reassess putting so much of our resources in int’l basketball. Consider these latest achievements by women …. karate, skateboarding, golf, weightlifting and most recently football. Sports patrons should spread the love,” actor Edu Manzano said in a tweet.
The Filipinas dominated the Southeast Asia powerhouse Thailand last Sunday.
Online users said their victory reminded Filipinos that there are other sports in the Philippines aside from country-favorite, basketball.