Thursday, September 4, 2014

Gilas Philippines “deserves” a win, says Spanish Newspaper - 2014 FIBA World Cup

The Philippine national men’s basketball team has dropped four straight painful defeats in the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain, and Filipino fans, heartbroken and all, are still hoping for Gilas Pilipinas to grab that elusive win before they end the tournament.

At least, the Filipinos are not alone, as the foreign media has also thrown its support behind Gilas Pilipinas. After its close defeat to Argentina, columnist Jose Ignacio Pinilla of Spanish sports newspaper Diario AS wrote in a column that the Philippines “deserves” a win in the tournament.
"They took the game to a tight 82-81 with just two minutes, but three free throws by Nocioni and his cap on the Castro three-pointer ended the chances of a Philippines that can not and should not end without at least a victory in this competition. They deserve it," Pinilla wrote in Spanish according to a rough translation of his column.

Pinilla also described the Filipinos as “fast” and had the ability to pull off a “big surprise” in the tournament, but declared that “only a miracle” would keep Gilas Pilipinas alive in the tournament.

Gilas Pilipinas lost to Puerto Rico, 77-73, (WATCH FULL GAME REPLAY HERE) Wednesday night to kiss its Round of 16 hopes goodbye. The team will have a chance to grab a rare victory in the world stage against Senegal on Thursday.

But even the Filipinos exit the tournament winless, Rafe Bartholomew, an author of a book about Philippine basketball and currently an editor for American sports website, is already convinced that Gilas Pilipinas has already won something for the Philippines beyond the scoreboard.

"But even if Gilas goes 0-5, which will be a disappointment, the Philippines will remember this tournament with enormous pride,"  Bartholomew wrote in a column on Grantland.

“And moments like Alapag’s unconscious heat-check run of five pull-up 3-pointers in the second half against Argentina, or 6-foot-5 Jean Marc Pingris bodying up with 7-foot, 270-pound Greek center Ioannis Bourosis in the low post and poking the ball away from him for a steal, or Blatche pounding his chest after giving the team a late lead against Croatia, will make up the latest chapter in the Philippines’ never-ending romance with basketball.”


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