The "Elegant" that GILAS PILIPINAS is now

We are never the "giants" in world basketball. We entered the arena being belittled, and inasmuch as we have the heart to play and win this basketball tournament, when it comes to physicality, we are highly outmatched. Iilan na nga lang matangkad sa team natin, yung isa, "naturalized" pa.

But hey, we soared high this time!

I am not a devout fan of basketball. I am just a silent watcher (viewer, whatever you may call it) and whenever our national team plays in a game (either local or international), I am just there to watch and support them, even if I'm just in front of the boob tube. However, this arrival of the Philippines to the world stage has set my liking to the sport to the next level. It made me realize better the "coolness" of the sport. Naks, pang-FIBA na talaga tayo! and this time, even though we aren't able to get to the finals or just to the next round, I became more proud of being a Filipino, for these guys definitely brought home the bacon.

We may have lacked the skills to face these giants blocking our way to championship. We may have lesser resources to train on. We may not have the tallest people on the team. Let's admit it, the team, as they played against different countries, looked like they are just a bunch of children playing with professional ballers - for they got the height and the proper training to venture in this tournament.

But these "tiny players" got something to show. Walang malaking nakakapuwing. There's definitely a "David" for every "Goliath". We may be insufficient to be in that stage, but looking at the team's performance - 3/5 games we have lost by just 3-4-point difference, 1/5 lost with just a 12-point difference, and the last battle we had to face, we have won, with a 3-point lead - it definitely shows that we can make it, and next time, we can do better.

Whenever a team loses a battle, sadness and depression definitely sets in. Not only to the players, but also to their supporters. However, my friends and I have felt the opposite - there may be regret at some point, but through what they have shown, the team has got the highest respect that we can offer. Even my friend has said that "Kahit di tayo umabot sa Top 16, pero kapag umuwi ang mga yan, at may Heroes' Welcome sila, pupunta ako." ("Even though we didn't make it to the Top 16, but if the team went home and is given a Heroes' Welcome, I would definitely go.")

From what we call "The Curse of Korea", the team has really flourished like a tiny sampaguita - soft, pure, and fragile - but when it blooms, it gives out a fragrance that no one can't mimic. We have turned from the "cursed" to the "breaker" of curses, from a small, belittled team to a big and respected one. We definitely have soared from the "broken-winged" bird we have become for 40 years now. They have definitely shown "Gilas" (elegance), in which the team is named after.

I can't really express how I admire and how hand-down I am for these people. With our "PUSO", we have conquered every obstacles that have come our way. You guys just made me, no, the Philippines proud. Ayos lang kahit di tayo pumasok sa Top 16. Even I, if given a chance, would definitely prepare a welcome for you.

...and this event (might) open the government's eyes that we definitely can go to the world stage when it comes to sports. We have the right people and the "heart" - we just need the proper support and a little "push" - and we can dominate in every aspect we work on.

Saludo ako sa inyo, Gilas! Pati na rin sa'yo Coach Chot!

(Photo taken from Gilas Pilipinas Basketball Fanpage)

#LabanPilipinas #PUSO #ParaSaBayan

PS: Tignan nyo, may humihirit pa, Wildcard daw for Top 16. Naks naman!

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