Fifth place. That’s the highest spot Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas could attain in this tournament as they are scheduled to play Shabab Al-Ahli of Dubai later at 4:45PM in Chenzhou, China.
UPDATE: Our apologies. It appears that the game against Dubai today was for pairings and so, Chooks-to-Go would still have to play Mono Vampire of Thailand for 5th place that was after Chooks-to-Go won over Dubai, 92-57 while the Thais nipped Taipei Dacin Tigers, 92-89 in the other match. Their game would be tomorrow, Sep 30, 12:15PM. Either way, whoever Pilipinas battles for 5th place would likely still fall short considering each of the teams’ (5-8) brand of play. And that’s what matters — in-depth analysis more than just a non-Final Four schedule.
This happened after Chooks-to-Go got trampled by China Kashgar last night, 70-86, in the 2017 FIBA Asia Champions Cup. Incidentally, even the day before that, Chooks-to-Go also got a beating from Iran’s Petrochimi, 66-87. Wow! More than having a soft and slow import in Austin, guess Pilipinas is just not coached well. And Chot Reyes can’t just blame the PBA for not lending their players, after all, other participating teams also didn’t have their best locals. Thus, this tourney was all about a coach’s strategy and getting the right import to fit into it — which they obviously failed on both accounts.
Problem is — Pride. Time and again, that is even before this FIBA debacle, Philippine basketball coaches and supporters would rather live in fantasy by praising their little success than working or dealing with what they really need to do for greater glory. Put down that pride and hire a consultant, not those regular faces you see or hear (not even these regular commentators, they are biased and lacks real insight) but someone with a 3D-like knowledge of the game — an outsider and not even necessarily a foreigner. Come to think of it, their previous successes just actually had a lot to do with luck which ran out when they got blasted by South Korea, 118-86 in the quarterfinals of the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup in Lebanon last August.
Ey, they basically had their best team! And so ‘pride’ tells them that they were just upset instead of admitting or understanding how they really got beat — for which they are only like pointing to missing an import that caused their loss. Hmm. With that, expect them to fall short again in the future.
Now back to the Champions Cup. In their two successive spankings and as usual, we saw Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas go to Austin (v Petrochimi 9/20, v China 5/12) and Ravena (v Petrochimi 7/14, v China 6/14) with Cruz also having more than 10 attempts (4/14) against China. Okay, while Austin and Ravena have been pretty consistent as we could see in their FG percentages — for others who have shot at least 10 times were just up and down, like Cruz. One day he’s cold, next day he’s hot, and then he’s cold again. Clearly, that’s not deserving of the confidence given by a coach.
But like what we have previously said a couple of articles ago, Jett Manuel specifically should have been given the green light to shoot. He’s got the offensive weapons, he just doesn’t have enough touches.
Anyway, we do expect the Filipinos to win this battle for 5th place.