TOKYO - Smart Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes said Sunday he will ask the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) to adopt the FIBA rules on travelling so Filipino players will no longer need to adjust every time they play in international competitions.
Reyes said the unfamiliarity with the rules resulted in unnecessary turnovers that weighed heavily against the team that placed fourth in the just-ended FIBA Asia Cup championship.
The former Talk 'N Text mentor was interviewed before the team boarded Philippine Airlines Flight 431 for its return trip to Manila Sunday.
The surprising win in the Jones Cup last month in Taipei raised expectations for the team to do well here, according to Reyes.
"If someone said we'll have one first and one fourth, we'll be happy," said Reyes, referring to the team's results. "Kaya lang ngayon, malungkot tayo. We all know we could have done better in Japan."
Reyes, however, pointed out that the team has played only two tournaments and been together for a little more than a month.
"Even after Taipei, we don't have illusion sa tournament sa Japan. And ang ganda nyan, more than anything else, we know how much more we have to go, how much longer we have to go if we're to contend next year," Reyes said.
Reyes said the team need more time to prepare and more competition.
"Hopefully, we can get more definite commitment from the PBA in that regard," said Reyes.
Aside from the travelling rule, Reyes said he hopes the PBA will use the thicker FIBA rims, widely attributed to the Filipinos' shooting problems.
Unlike in the Jones Cup where the rims are similar to the PBA's, the FIBA rims minimize "lucky bounces," prompting shooters to make necessary adjustments.
"We have to get used to that kind of rim and shooting against much bigger opponents and it will only come by continuously playing against much bigger teams," he said.
Reyes said the players, who saw action in the two tournaments, deserve to be in the pool, but their performances will be evaluated.
"Now, if they're going to make the final 12, di pa natin alam," he said.
Reyes said the team lacks a backup to Marcus Douthit and Ranidel de Ocampo.
"Hopefully, we can get a (Greg) Slaughter or a (Junmar) Fajardo. And then Kelly (Williams), Arwind (Santos) and (Marc) Pingris. Yun naman talaga ang nasa pool eh," Reyes said.
He also made special mention of his former playmaker Jason Castro.
"Na test na natin si Jared (Dillinger), mukhang kaya. Kailangan si Jason naman," he said.
The Nationals return to their mother teams for the PBA Philippine Cup that kicks off Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Reyes said they will try to have an audience with Vance Walberg, founder of the dribble-drive offense.
"If we can have a personal clinic, more learning for us," he said.
Meanwhile, Iran edged Japan, 53-51, Saturday night to win the FIBA Asia Cup.