• When you're a winner you're always happy, but if you're happy as a loser you'll always be a loser. - Mark Fidrych

    When you're are playing for the national championship, it's not a matter of life or death. Its more important than that. - Duffy Daugherty

    When you're riding, only the race in which you're riding is important. - Bill Shoemaker

    Whenever you get knocked down in the game of life, immediately get up, get better and get going again. - Greg Hickman

    Where I was born and where and how I have lived is unimportant. It is what I have done with where I have been that should be of interest. - Georgia O'Keeffe

    Where you start is not as important as where you finish. - Zig Ziglar

    Whether you be man or woman you will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor. - James Allen

    Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right! - Henry Ford

    Who is sure of their own motives can in confidence advance or retreat. - Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

    Why did I want to win? because I didn't want to lose! - Max Schmelling

FIBA Asia Championships: Flourish or Flounder?

They said that we dodged the proverbial bullet when we were thrown into the “Group of Hope” in Group B after being fed to the lions in the “Group of Death” a couple years ago with Asian Basketball titans China.

However, with the recent showing that we had in the Jones Cup, I’m beginning to doubt whether our bracketing into the supposed “Group of Hope” would make much of a difference.  Finishing sixth in this supposed “warm-up” stint for the Nationals doesn’t exactly strike fear into the opposition we’ll be facing in Tianjin, China.

Japeth Aguilar - next BIG thing in Philippine Basketball

Japeth Aguilar - next BIG thing in Philippine Basketball

Our Asian neighbors are bigger, faster and are far more deadlier shooters than our cream of the crop PBA warriors.  And man, do they shoot mean trifectas.  After all the years that we’ve been trying to scale the wall back to the apex of basketball dominance in Asia (in the world even, who can ever forget the great and immortal Caloy Loyzaga?), haven’t we learned our lesson that the three-point shot is something we need to develop even more?  We’re obviously at a horrifying disadvantage when it comes to big men (although we have something to thank for, God bless Japeth Aguilar), we still try to concentrate in banging our aged veteran Asi Taulava against our much bigger Asian opponents (who’re obviously giants masquerading as basketball players).

If we’re to make even a slight dent against the confidence of the likes of China and Iran, we need, rather MUST make use of effective and dead-eye shooting beyond the arc.  Since we’re at a disadvantage in the paint, we need to develop the players’ mid-range game.  A little bit more slashing towards the basket and a must in crisp passing also wouldn’t hurt.

Team Pilipinas Chief Tactician - Joseller "Yeng" Guiao

Then again, knowing Yeng Guiao, there’s also a possibility that he intentionally held back the team’s punches during the Jones Cup in order to gauge the readiness and the gameplan of our Asian opponents.  Coach Yeng has been known to employ various methods in scouting his opponents and holding back the team’s potential during that tourney could be one.  That way, when opponents size up our beloved ‘Pinas, they’ll tend to become complacent.  Haaay, if wishes were fishes, then the world would be an ocean full of them.

The Philippines will face lightweight Sri Lanka on August 6 and then will get a another crack at Japan after that heartbreaking loss in the Jones Cup on the 7th.  They will face another powerhouse team in South Korea, the team that doused cold water on our near finals match-up with China in the 2002 Busan Asian Games.  We led by a basket 68-66 in the dying seconds when Lee Sang Min, who missed his last four attempts beyond the arc, plunged an ice-cold dagger in the form of a trifecta straight into every filipino heart around the world as the buzzer sounded to win the game for Korea 69-68, ending our Gold Medal hopes and our chance to face China in the finals.  If I were Congress at that time, I’d immediately pass a resolution declaring Lee Sang Min persona non grata on Philippine soil the next day.

That loss still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.  Ew.

But still, like what we filipinos really are, we can always hope and pray.  Pray for our National team, pray that we get closer to that top spot in the Asian and World Basketball stage, perched amongst the best there is, pray that our players get to drop their treys when needed most.  A little help from Tita Cory (God bless her soul, thank you so much madame president) from up above can also move mountains.

And that my friends, is my two cents worth about the upcoming FIBA Asian Championships.

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas…

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