Philippine national men’s basketball team coach Chot Reyes apologized to his Japan squad counterpart Julio Lamas for calling a timeout late in Gilas Pilipinas’ 77-71 victory in the FIBA World Cup qualifiers in Tokyo on Friday.
Reyes, who surprised fans by requesting a timeout to map out a play despite having the lead with just 0.2 seconds left in the game, said he was “confused” by the competition rules and thought that the teams’ aggregate scores in the home-and-away games would be in play.
“I want to apologize to the Japanese coach Julio Lamas for that last timeout because we were very confused on the rules of the game,” Reyes said in an interview on ESPN5 SportsCenter.
“There was cumulative, there was quotient or not, but now after this, we got word it’s just gonna be win and loss so I should not have called the timeout, and I apologized personally to the Japan coaching staff.”
In the new World Cup qualifying format, teams play in a home-and-away format during a six-window period that lasts until next year. The top three squads from each group will advance to the next round.
After topping Japan in Tokyo, the Filipinos will host Chinese Taipei on Monday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum to conclude the first windown of the qualifiers.