After attending the hastily-called press conference of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Monday night, and hearing the explanation of SBP vice-chairman Ricky Vargas and former Fiba-Asia (then known as the Asian Basketball Confederation) secretary-general Moying Martelino, I formulated my own thoughts regarding their appeal to let Gilas Pilipinas naturalized big man Andray Blatche play in the Asian Games this month in Incheon, South Korea.
“IAGOC insists that the Asian Games follow the Olympic Council of Asia’s rules, which are based on the charter of International Olympic Committee (IOC) and not the FIBA world governing body.
According to OCA’s game rules particularly on Chapter 3 articles 49 and 50, Blatche must have satisfied at least three years of residence or holds a permanent residence in the Philippines after he was naturalized.”
Naver.com (Korean website) – taken from the FB status of Manolo Chino Trinidad
Here’s my take:
The simple solution to this increasingly ‘annoying’ and perceived ‘complex’ problem is JUST FOLLOW THE RULES.
Since the RULE says, Blatche is NOT ELIGIBLE to play in the Asian Games, then, let’s ABIDE. Let’s respect the rule and not insist on our opinion, while making it appear before the public that we are being “cheated” by our regional rivals.
Now, if we lose, then let’s learn from that loss, try to be better, prepare harder in order to put our national team at a much better position to in in future competitions.
But if we win without Blatche, then well and good, the whole country rejoices!
Hopefully, we will not appear more as “sore losers” in our region. But that we, as Filipinos, will show to them that we also know how to follow and respect the rules, while still finding a way to win despite the odds.
Gilas was able to fight through tremendous adversities during is recent Fiba World Cup stint. Blatche was the anchor of the team, but every local player who played, showed their big, fighting heart, too.
Whatever happens, I just wish that Gilas Pilipinas, with or without Blatche, won’t be affected in anyway as it prepares and try to win the Asian Games basketball gold medal for the first time since 1962.