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Reyes says rematch with Lamas "demanded his best"

On a night when Julio Lamas looked poise to score a repeat over Chot Reyes, the latter "counter-adjusted" and stole the win. FIBA

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--It took three years before Gilas coach Chot Reyes got a chance to finish some unfinished business on Coach Julio Lamas.

Gilas came close to pulling off an upset against Lamas' home country team Argentina in the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Seville only to fall short.

On Friday night, however, Reyes finally got a win over Lamas as Gilas upended Lamas' new team Japan, 77-71, in the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers in Tokyo.

Still, Reyes had Lamas to thank for as the former had to bring his A-game in the second half, when Japan pulled a huge comeback to come close to stealing the home win.

"I thought Coach Julio did a great adjustment to start the third quarter. They made that run early in the third, and we had to make a counter-adjustment, and I thought that proved to be important," said Reyes.

He then commended the "good coaches here in Asia," saying, "The good thing about playing good coaches is that it demands your best and that you're on top of your game. Your adjustments and your focus have to be at a higher level because one slip-up can mean the ballgame."

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno