Now that the Philippines has regained basketball supremacy in the Asian Games, it’s high time that officials and even hardcore fans become sensible and realistic with their goals.
You see, trouble started when Gilas Pilipinas “made waves” and “put up a gallant stand” against the world’s finest during the 2014 World Championships in Seville, Spain.
Some dude in Gilas was so excited and overjoyed that the Filipinos almost upstaged the heavyweights of world hoops that he reported to the big boss that the Philippines can finally stand its ground even against the likes of Argentina, Croatia and Greece.
Given the chief’s dearth of knowledge about world basketball, it was easy convincing him that, indeed, the Philippines had arrived.
Besides, who could forget Gabe Norwood’s soaring rim-rattler over Luis Scola?
But you know what?
The Argentines, Croats, Greeks and even the Puerto Ricans were just unfamiliar with the Filipinos’ brand of play that they all took their lowly-ranked and obscure opponents lightly.
Personally, that was the reason why Gilas came close to pulling off a shocker in Spain.
Then in the next worlds, Gilas traveled to China oozing with confidence.
Instead of going toe-to-toe with their fancied foes, Gilas got whacked and wound up dead-last as the opposition began looking at them as threats.
Again, the big boss probably thought the 2019 showing was just a fluke and expectations were so high when the worlds was played on local shores a couple of months ago.
But the aim to send shivers down their rivals’ spine didn’t happen.
Gilas got another shellacking and just took solace in their win over China in their farewell match.
So, what am I trying to say?
Since we have regained Asiad superiority, we should win the next FIBA Asia Cup to get things going.
If we win FIBA Asia, then we should be on the right track to eyeing a solid stint in the world stage.
Step by step. One game at a time.
The 2014 worlds was a freak accident.
And the 2019 and 2023 worlds were the true indication of where Philippine basketball really is.
From now on, the Philippines should not be missing out on a podium finish in the Asian Games or FIBA Asia for us to remain on target with our goals.
Come to think of it.
We have been playing basketball for more than a century while teams that have been beating us only took up the sport in recent years.
The top teams during the early days of basketball are still among the best.
Once upon a time we were one of the best.
How come we are in the process of becoming one of the best?
Don’t you get it?