In my previous blog entitled, “Take Heart Phl“, I mentioned about the Filipinos over-reliance on its import in the last 5 minutes causing the Filipinos to freeze and abandon their attacking style for the half-court set. In three of Gilas Pilipinas first four games the game was lost in the last two minutes. How tragic! But that’s basketball and one can only learn from defeat and move on.
Against Senegal, Gilas Pilipinas was ahead most of the game until Senegal made a final run and sent the game into overtime. With about two minutes remaining in overtime, Andre Blatche fouled out and I’m sure not many people gave the Phl a chance. But no the Filipinos found a way to win through defense and conversion of free throws! Call it Serendipity. The Filipinos had to dig deep inside and trust the system. The players have proved to themselves that they can win on their own merits. This experience is invaluable and will be remembered for a long, long time.
I want to thank all the Gilas players for sacrificing for their country, thank Chot Reyes and the coaching staff for showing a basketball style that is uniquely Filipino, and thank the team backers and managers for dreaming big, for showing their countrymen that we can hustle with the big boys and for reminding us that “Yes, The Filipino Can!” Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!