They have achieved what they many have said the impossible. well even before the game against South Korea, or even after the 2011 FIBA Asia Championship, there are a number of people who doubted Team Gilas Pilipinas. Even to the point of asking why they have to be bankrolled by someone (that someone happens to be Manny V. Pangilinan who owns 2 PBA teams the Meralco Bolts and the mighty Talk N’ Text Tropang Texters) who has to put his own product in front of our National Team’s jerseys (our team was known as Smart Gilas Pilipinas back in the day). People then asked why do some teams need to loan players against a rival organization (San Miguel Corporation are rivals in the corporate world and in the PBA, San Miguel Corp owns 3 PBA teams in the PBA namely the Petron Blaze Boosters, the San Mig Coffee Mixers, and the Brgy. Ginebra Kings)? Fans from the SMC side (well fickle minded fans) are insisting that they will never ever lend players not even for a Patriotic reasons, because it’s stupid, and some of those fans then preached that we won’t be able to finish in the top 3. I can still remember their arguments and how I insisted that it is possible, that we just need to believe and pray and our boys play hard.
With the conquest over South Korea (as mentioned in my other piece), we automatically booked ourselves a ticket to the 2014 FIBA World Championship, though we came up short against the Persians (Iran) in the Gold Medal match, the proud Philippine team gladly accepted their Silver Medal to the delight of the Filipinos all around the world. The Silver Medal not only signifies years and years of frustrations in the Asian Games and the FIBA tournaments in the past, but it also signifies redemption. Redemption that one day we can be considered the Best in Asia once again and maybe tomorrow, we will be the ones accepting those gold medals. Who knows? I believed that a top 3 finish is possible, everybody should.
With that I wish the success of the Philippine Men’s Basketball team can rub off to other athletes like our Philippine Azkals, the Philippine Volcanoes, the Cobra Energy Dragon Boat Team, our boxers such as Marc Barriga, and a lot of us. I wish us all the best in the future. LABAN PILIPINAS