Tag Archives: olympics

After the Asian Games, will you give up on Gilas?

It has been a eventful 14 months in the history of Philippine basketball. From winning silver at 2013 FIBA Asia Championship on home soil. To those thrilling tune-up games leading up to the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain. To the eventful return of Philippine basketball on the world map with a gallant performance at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. Despite the fact, Gilas Pilipinas won only 1 of 5 games and did not making it to the next round of the tournament finishing 21st in the 24 team tournament. The world was put on notice with what they have accomplished. All the way to Incheon for the Asian Games. Where unfortunately, the team suffered a disastrous finish settling for only 7th place in the tournament.

The tournament was a disaster for the national team. After winning their opening match against India, they suffered a tough loss against Iran where the team kept in close distance with the Iranians. Then into the next stage of the competition, they suffered a shock loss to Qatar. Followed up by another tough loss against the host nation and eventual gold winners Korea. Then a victory that felt like a defeat against Kazakhstan ending the medal hopes of the team. Losing to China and ending the tournament with a win over Mongolia for the 7th place finish.

With a twist of fate, the team that brought a nation together, has completely tore it apart. As the critics emerged blasting the team on every aspect. Majority of the brunt was put on Gilas head coach Chot Reyes. Reyes, who on a press interview blasted naturalized player Marcus Douthit after the loss to Qatar which led Filipino basketball fans to blast him on his own miscues during the course of the tournament. Primarily on the team’s failure to execute in end game situations that has been present even in their stint at the FIBA Basketball World Cup thus leading to the infamous moniker that is “Choke” Reyes. In addition, to his choices on rotating players during the course of the game. Calls for him to vacate his coaching job for the nationals spread like wildfire. Critics wanted to give other great coaches like Tim Cone or Yeng Guiao the opportunity to call the shots for the nationals.

The downfall of the team in the Asiad, unfortunately overshadowed Jimmy Alapag’s farewell run donning a “PILIPINAS” jersey. This after he came out for one last shot with the national team after earlier calling himself to retire after the tournament in Spain. As well as the good name that this team have put on the basketball world map during those eventful days in Sevilla.

This graph pretty much explains how “most” people felt after each tournament that Gilas had played since last year.

Photos used were from multiple blog sites.
 
For obvious reasons, I did not choose to use a person from Gilas Pilipinas for this graph. It would undo everything that I wrote in my previous blog entry.
 
As a fan of this team. I am saddened as any Gilas fan there is in the world about the outcome of the last tournament. After all the hard work and inspiration that this team gave to the nation. The team indeed suffered a major setback in those tough days in Incheon. That forced own basket vs Kazakhstan pretty much summed up all the struggles this team encountered.
 
I may have the right to exercise tough criticism on the team itself. However, I choose not to do so. I mean on a personal note, it is unfair to criticize someone for not being able to execute what the people wanted. 
 
As far as Coach Chot Reyes is concerned, I’m not blaming him. I mean what’s the point?!? You give praise when he coaches well enough to win games for the team, but stab him in the back when he commits something unforgivable in coaching that the team losses. 
 
This ain’t the first time that anyone on this team has been criticized, remember Gary David at last year’s FIBA Asia tournament? Some fans called him out not worthy of being a part the national team after his struggles during the tournament. Fortunately for Gary, his fellow players and most people backed him up and was instrumental in that quarter-final win vs Kazakhstan last year.
 
His critics have valid points which are worthy of consideration. I can honestly say, he is the most polarizing head coach that Philippine basketball has ever seen. Some people love him, some people hate him. But I have to say he is still one of the best coaches this country has ever seen in this generation. Take out what happened in Incheon, he coached the team back into the world stage of basketball.
 
I’m not asking anyone to stop sharing their sentiments good or bad. For one fact, that this nation is truly obsessed with the game of basketball. That is something I truly admire about our passion for the sport.
 
Speaking of the Philippines in the Asian Games, the country brought home 15 medals from Incheon. The lone GOLD medal came from cycling athlete Daniel Caluag. 3 silver medals (2 in wushu, 1 in boxing) and 11 bronze medals (5 in taekwondo, 3 in boxing, 1 each in wushu, archery and karate)
 
There is the outspoken minority of Filipinos who think that we should focus on sports where we can actually have a better shot of success or winning a medal in international tournaments. We should not forget about them too. After all these kind of tournaments aren’t always about basketball. It was unfortunate that only a few got to learn about these medal finishes by our athletes. Indeed, it should be a stepping stone to improve the general standing of Philippine sports. I do hope that our sports program gets better in the near future.
 
In ending, as for Gilas Pilipinas in the near future. For sure, it will debut a new look team once the next tournament comes next year which is the FIBA Asia Tournament that is a qualifying tournament for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The winner of the tournament automatically qualifies for the Olympics. While the second and third place teams will have to go through a Olympic qualifying tournament for three wild card spots at the Olympics.

Whether Gilas management decides to keep Chot Reyes or choose another coach. So be it as long as it’s for the best interest of the program.

 
Is it time to give up on this team? I personally think otherwise. As a fan, I will continue to support the national team 100%
 
If there is anything that I have learned as a fan of teams like the Houston Rockets and the UST Growling Tigers. That is to never give up on a team no matter what happens. Stick through everything good or bad. 
 
I have yet to taste genuine joy as a basketball fan whenever a NBA Finals or UAAP Finals is being played out as both of these teams have not won the championship in their respective leagues ever since the day I started rooting for these teams.

Some of my friends have tasted that genuine joy whenever their team/school won the title.

 
Yet I come back every year with renewed hope that one day they will reach the promise land and as a fan I get to taste the joy of going all the way to the promised land.
 
There will be time for the wounds to heal. It will be another 11 months until Gilas Pilipinas returns to battle in the Asian stage. As a fan, will you give up? or hang on through good and bad times?

It’s been a while. A lot has happened since.

As the title of this blog entry states. It has been a long time since I last wrote an entry here, and a lot of things has happened since.

After the victory I had in the middle of July, I went back to work and focus on all the subjects I have right now. The feeling of victory gave me the boost and inspiration I needed as I

July has passed and now we’re in the month of August. Right now, we are smacked in the middle of the Preliminary Examinations. So I have been busy lately studying and preparing for the exams that will come starting tomorrow until Friday (with a break on Wednesday as it is a holiday at the university.) Apparently, we had two examinations that were finished last Friday. We still have 6 exams to finish.

Another thing that kept me busy from writing is the event we are preparing and going to execute soon. I know I played the role of a “leftist” since I showed my doubts and concerns about the concept. But now, I’m all in and ready to make this work. 3T5, we know this won’t be a smooth sail, but let’s enjoy the ride and we can put up a great event.


Also, I went for a new haircut during this stretch. Because I always believe, that it’s a new beginning in a new haircut. Sounds weird, but that’s my belief. I really pushed for a comeback this time and give out a strong commitment on my craft.

Photo ©Karl Carandang

But of course, despite of the busy schedule I had. I found time to do something for myself. As yesterday, I watched the game between UST and DLSU at the new Mall of Asia Arena. It was my second time watching a UAAP game live at the game venue, and my very first time inside the new arena which is similar to arenas that can be found in the United States on NBA games with the marquees on the sides, the state-of-the-art jumbotron on top and the deluxe suites between the lower box and the upper box sections of the arena.

 Photo ©Karl Carandang

The battle between UST and DLSU is very much anticipated as it was the battle of the Teng brothers. Jeric, UST’s 4th year gun-slinging veteran going up against his younger brother, rookie slasher Jeron of DLSU. The game was a treat for the people who watched the game at the arena, both teams battled with true grit and will. It was a up-and-down game with both teams trading baskets and runs. At the end of two quarters, UST was trailing DLSU 29-30.

Photo ©Karl Carandang



At halftime it was a great sight as the UST Yellow Jackets and Salinggawi Dance Troupe together with the DLSU Animo Squad put up a great halftime show as both cheering squads went together and did each others school cheers which showed that despite the intense battle. Both the Thomasian and Lasallian communities can co-exist in the spirit of sports.

Photo ©Karl Carandang
 
It was a tight battle in the 2nd half with UST dominating the 3rd quarter as Clark Bautista came alive nailing three pointers for UST. While DLSU made their comeback in the 4th quarter. And from their on it was a tight battle. After Aljon Mariano tied the game at 71. La Salle’s LA Revilla nailed a floater at the buzzer, and we thought La Salle won the game. But once the replay was shown, the ball was still in his hands when the buzzer sounded. The basket was waived off and the game goes into overtime. The first overtime game of the season.
 
Photo ©Karl Carandang
 
But one overtime did not settle the contest, As the score went dead even at 80 at the end of the first overtime. So the game went into double overtime. La Salle went up by 2 on a L.A. Revilla jumper. But Aljon Mariano responded with 2 baskets, on a drive to tie the game with 51 seconds left in the game and a jumper with 7 seconds to put UST up 84-82. La Salle had their chances to tie/win the game, first was Yutien Andrada who tried to tie the game with a hook but his shot got blocked by Karim Abdul. La Salle had 0.6 seconds on the clock. L.A. Revilla tried to save La Salle with a flinging three point shot, but came up short as UST beats DLSU in double overtime 84-82.
 Photo ©Karl Carandang
 
This is one of the greatest basketball games I have ever witnessed. Both teams played their hearts out. The crowd from both schools were electric and very supportive. But in the end, the UST Growling Tigers survived with a impressive victory. Kudos to the DLSU Green Archers they had a lot of heart in this game. Talk about the ever famous Ateneo-La Salle rivalry. Watching a UST-La Salle game is a great experience to say the least. It makes me wanna watch their meeting in the 2nd round live again.
 
Now I’m 1-1 on the games I watched live at the game venues. The first game was last season when UST lost to Ateneo in a blowout in their 2nd meeting in UAAP Season 74 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
 
Aside from the UAAP action, I’m also pumped up about the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Unfortunately, It’s been a tough ride for our athletes as 8 out of the 11 Filipino athletes at the Olympics have been knocked out of competition. Mark Anthony Barriga our lone boxer at the Olympics and our best chance at winning a medal recently suffered a tough 1 point defeat against Kazakh boxer Birzhan Zhakypov.  
Aside from the Filipino athletes, Olympic basketball has been a great sight as we have an intense competition there. Don’t expect a smooth sail for Team USA on winning the gold medal this year as they have tough international competitors, the most notable nations are Spain, Argentina and Russia who can challenge the Americans for the gold medal. And also, in this Olympics. American swimmer Michael Phelps has won the distinction as the “greatest Olympian of all-time” by winning 22 medals at the Olympics (18 of them are gold medals) *as of August 5, 2012.
Another thing I’m pumped about is Game 7 of the PBA Governors Cup Finals between the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and the B-Meg Llamados today. Will the dream season of the Elasto Painters come into fruition? or will the drive of the Llamados give them a 2nd trophy for this season? That we will find out today starting at 5pm at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Like I said, this blog entry is going to be long. Because, I won’t be back until the examinations are done at the end of the coming week. Until then, enjoy the ride and I’ll be back soon.
 
Let’s Go and Bring it all on the line.
K-Smoove