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Chot Reyes admits he preferred Ivory Coast over Angola as last team drawn to Gilas group

Despite some fans saying Gilas has winnable opponents to start the FIBA World Cup, coach Chot Reyes thinks Group A is "not ideal" for them. Kennelf Monteza (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY—Chot Reyes thought Group A, which features Gilas Pilipinas, remains somehow tough despite some quick analyses that Gilas might have a decent shot at a deep run in the FIBA World Cup.

However, he too believes that the Gilas grind might have been a bit easier.

"This is the World Cup so there is no such thing as an easy draw, but the best way I can categorize it: it's not ideal but it could have been better," Reyes said after the group draw on Saturday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

He then bared that he hoped NBA legend and FIBA central board member Dirk Nowitzki would have drawn the ball that bared the name "Cote D'Ivoire" instead of "Angola" as Group A's Pot 7 team.

"I would have hoped that the last pick could have been Ivory Coast instead of Angola because I thought Angola was the tougher team--not that I mean Ivory Coast is weak by all means," Reyes further said.

Now that Gilas finds itself in the group that also has Dominican Republic and Italy in it aside from Angola, the preparation begins for the tournament's main host.

"The good thing is that now, we have some clarity on who we're playing with and what kind of preparation is necessary to be at our best," Reyes further said.

The next step, according to him, is to build the roster that at least could hang on against the likes of Karl Anthony Towns.

"The next phase is to take a look at the teams that we're playing and to build a team and select players hopefully that we think can be able to compete with the players that we know who are going to be in the other teams," Reyes further said.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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