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After the fourth heartbreaking loss to Puerto Rico last Wednesday, the Philippines’ Gilas Pilipinas is set to bow out of FIBA 2014 Basketball World Cup in Spain.
In a game where Gilas leads up to the second quarter, a lot of supporters expected that this is Gilas’ game. Every Filipino hoped that this time, Gilas will win. The players started hot during the first half. But they ended up crumbling and committing crucial errors while Puerto Rico’s Jose Barea exploded during the last four minutes of the game.
Gilas Pilipinas has three initial losses. The National team has succumbed to Croatia, Greece, and Argentina, making a 0-3 win-loss record. The team hoped for a victory as they have really worked with a hundred percent in every game. But the win that the nation hoped for remains elusive.
According to Gilas coach Chot Reyes, “We have the skills to play at this level, but we don’t have the experience to win.”
Maybe that was true. Gilas may have 4 losses, but let us not forget the fact that 3 out of 4 losses are all close-scoring games. The team was actually able to post an early lead during their game against Argentina, the third ranked-team in the world. Thus, the players clearly have the skills.
The ability and prowess in playing basketball can be innate or attained through practice. While experience is something that the players and the entire team can achieve gradually. Collecting essential experience will indeed take time.
On the other hand, losing hope isn’t a choice for a nation where basketball can be considered a religion. The team has already shown the world the heart in playing basketball. The players have already shown what they are capable of doing against those more experienced and taller opponents. And with the love and support from millions of Filipino basketball fanatics, the national team will continue to try and try until it gets that elusive win.
Image from http://www.rappler.com/
There is one game left, a game against Senegal. Whether Gilas remains winless or not, the team, with the whole nation, is set to bow out of the World Cup. We will bow out; but not bowed down. This is not our last chance.