By: Ferdie M. Brizo
It is a great honor to host such a gigantic event like the FIBA World Cup, where not only Filipino players are showcased but the entire nation. It’s undeniable that the players from other countries seem more prepared compared to Gilas Pilipinas, whose preparation appears to have been somewhat rushed. However, what’s important is that Filipinos have shown their fighting spirit in facing these highly skilled foreign players.
Looking at Gilas Pilipinas’ performance in their four games against the Dominican Republic, Angola, Italy, and South Sudan, it’s evident that they often fell short in the final minutes. We played well against the Dominican Republic and Angola, but we couldn’t maintain our performance in the closing minutes, even against Italy. In the South Sudan game, they had a significant lead from the first quarter to the end. We managed to catch up by five points in the 3rd quarter, but South Sudan regained their lead and won in the end.
In my personal analysis, Gilas has potential, but it seems they lack practice. It appears they weren’t fully prepared despite having had a long time to prepare. We can’t deny Jordan Clarkson’s contribution as a high-quality player, but the chemistry with his teammates seemed lacking, probably due to the limited time they played together in preparation. It’s as if their teamwork wasn’t fully developed. He was the dominant scorer in all the games, but it wasn’t enough to secure victories.
In basketball, as in other ball games, teamwork is crucial. Everyone needs to be involved and contribute. It seems their teamwork was forced, and they couldn’t find the right balance.
Some comments echo my view that Justin Brownlee might have been a better choice as the naturalized player instead of Jordan. Brownlee has an advantage because he has been in the Philippines for a longer time and could have established better teamwork. This was evident in their performance in the SEA Games, where they became champions. Brownlee’s game is motivated by teamwork. The ball doesn’t just revolve around him; there’s rotation. Comparatively, Jordan’s motivation seems to be more focused on picking and shooting. Brownlee has better chemistry with his teammates and is likely more motivated to contribute. Another quality of Brownlee is that he has developed his teamwork with the players over a longer period in the country. There’s a deeper understanding of passing and ball movement.
It would have been great if both Jordan and Brownlee could have been included because their combination would have been even more formidable. However, it seems impossible because, according to FIBA’s rules, Jordan needed to have a passport before turning 18 to be considered a naturalized player, just like Brownlee.
If there’s a chance to change the situation, it might be worth trying Coach Tim Cone, who is more active in coaching and is known as the winningest coach in the country. Chot Reyes has been in the league for a while, but in terms of player motivation, Tim Cone seems to have the edge.
It’s important to remember that this is a World Cup that should have been well-prepared for because such an opportunity rarely comes to the Philippines. No matter how dedicated our players are, what Filipino fans ultimately seek is the result of the game. The frustration of the viewers in the four games is palpable, as it seems our representatives in the team couldn’t deliver the passion Filipinos have for basketball.
Despite our disappointment in not having a strong performance in the FIBA World Cup, the Philippines still hit the jackpot in terms of opportunities because many players, coaches, chaperones, and other visitors have witnessed and experienced the climate, especially the hospitality of Filipinos.
This has a significant impact on economic activity, including tourism. It’s almost certain that our visitors have explored many tourist spots in nearly half a month. Hopefully, our tourists who were part of the world’s biggest event had no unfortunate experiences. Welcome and Good luck to all FIBA World Players!
Note: update: while we are doing this column, Jordan Clarkson saved the best for last as the Philippines avoided another winless FIBA World Cup run, salvaging its rather forgettable campaign with a 96-75 win over China at the Araneta Coliseum on Saturday, September 2. Gilas has the chance to the elimination for Olympic 2024.
Also, good development, Coach Reyes, already relinquished his spot as a coach.
The filing for the new set of barangay and SK officials who will lead our barangays for the next two years has concluded this September 3. We often hear the phrase “many are called but few are chosen.” It is essential for voters to scrutinize the candidates who will serve in our barangays because, if we make the wrong choices, we may have to wait for years before we can change our decision.
We know that money will once again play a role in the barangay elections, but I hope we become discerning voters because money can easily influence decisions. The challenge lies in the fact that those who provided substantial financial support may seek ways to recover their investment. If they have given generously, they will expect something in return.
It would be better to teach a lesson to those who are giving money now. If someone gives money, don’t vote for them. Can the people of Catanduanes do this? However, many are struggling now, so they may be tempted to go with the trend because their happiness is only temporary. (FB EYE/Bicol Peryodiko weekly Newspaper)