For the past few decades, we have been unsuccessful in our hoop campaigns in the international level. Last time we won a significant tournament was in Taipei. The year was 1985. The opponent, Americans.
Before this, we have ruled Asian basketball like it was our house.
For the longest time, most of people blame our failure to excel in the international scene to, believe it or not, size. We’re just too small to play.
These people have to be reminded that to this day, we remain as the only Asian nation to ever capture a medal in the Basketball world championships.
Basketball is not new to Filipinos. We have long been lovers of the game. We have been playing it since the Yanqui brought it here (through YMCA) 100 years ago.
Attempts in the past has failed because its underfunded and players are not kept long enough to bond. Basketball being a team sport is decided on the effectiveness of team play.
The time when funding was just right the Philippine team achieved its goal. Remember the Danding backed Philippine team in ’85? Now, its Pangilinan of Smart going all out for the national hoopsters.
I’ve been following the Smart Gilas team and I can’t help but be proud of the team. They are now in the semis. Having won over their Asian adversaries that a few years ago would have been considered impossible.
The international play is much faster than what we are used to see in the pro leagues. Hiring Coach Toroman, a European who knows how to play the kind of game that wins in these tournament was a great choice.
Hontiveros, Tiu, Casio and all those guys that stepped up their level of play. Deserves to be commended regardless of the outcome of their semis game.
This team is simply incredible.
Shades of Caloy and 1954!
Philippine basketball is alive and kicking in the international stage!
I think we have a long way to go, but I believe that we have made substantial improvement.
Mabuhay Smart Gilas!