After Gilas Pilipinas failed short in its bid to meet the required winning margin against Kazakhstan on Sunday, our national team is officially out of medal contention in the Asian Games.
While millions of pesos no doubt, have been poured by SBP (Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas) president Manny V. Panglinan (MVP) for the Gilas program the past three of four years, we just can’t deny the fact that the national team under coach Chot Reyes has brought the Philippines back to the world basketball map.
Yes, Gilas failed to meet its target of winning no less than the Asiad basketball gold, but this setback shouldn’t be the cause for millions of basketball-crazy Filipinos to “crucify” our national players and coaching staff for their failure.
Instead, as Filipinos who share the same passion for the sport, let us all send them messages of love and support for giving their all in playing and sacrificing much of their precious time for flag and country.
For one, it’s no joke for all the 12 Gilas players to forego their much-needed break this PBA offseason that they were supposed to spend with their families, and spend it instead, for the national team’s preparation for the World Cup and the Asian Games.
Even the coaches have families of their own and this would have been the perfect time for them to take it easy for a while and take a break.
Every basketball-loving Filipino is surely disappointed over the result in the Asian Games. But over the next few days and weeks, Gilas’ post-Asian Games performance would also be the best time for our basketball leaders to pick up the pieces and begin the process of evaluation.
What are the some of the good things the Gilas program has had, which we could continue to build on, starting with the 2015 Fiba-Asia men’s basketball championships in China?
Will it be necessary to shake the roster and bring in new faces for next year’s Asian championships, the tournament that serves as the qualifier for the 2016 Rio Olympics?
What are some of the “do-better” (things to improve) in the Gilas team?
Will coach Chot Reyes be given another round to continue the program he started?
Or will SBP bring in someone who has had previous coaching experience in the world championship or Olympics?
At the end of the day, Gilas is the Philippines’ official representative to Fiba-related competitions and the Asian Games, and the national team deserves our all-out support as it continues its quest for the country’s return to basketball respectability.