Sunday, October 04, 2015

Gilas places second

What an incredible run. Gilas Pilipinas won the silver medal at the 2015 FIBA Asian Championship.

This is the second time in a row that the Philippines placed second in the FIBA Asian Championships (we lost to Iran in the final held in Manila back in 2013). This year, Gilas Pilipinas had a bit of a scare early on when they lost to Palestine in the preliminary rounds. Thankfully, the team beat Hong Kong and Kuwait in their group, allowing them to advance to the second round. From there, they gained massive momentum, beating Japan and India and upsetting Iran, handing them the top seed going into the quarterfinal round. Gilas then routed Lebanon in the quarterfinals and beat Japan for the second time in the tournament in the semifinals to secure a finals berth. A win would have meant a sure slot to the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. Unfortunately, they were unable to overcome a very strong China team along with the home court advantage they held.

Despite not making it all the way, Gilas Pilipinas showed that they have definitely become a very competitive team in Asia. In fact, Jayson Castro also made it to the mythical five (deservedly so).

With more training and strong medium-to-long-term strategic planning, the Philippines may eventually take the FIBA Asian Championships crown. And who knows, we may have a chance to challenge the European powerhouses in the near future. I am hoping that we learn from our recent forays in the world stage and become even stronger.

Congratulation, Gilas Pilipinas! You have made the country proud.

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