Saturday, September 22, 2012

Failed in FIBA: Smart Gilas 2

Smart Gilas 2 lost its last two games when it mattered most. The final score in the game against Iran was 77-60 which was played yesterday, September 21. If we won the game against the Iranians, we would have played for the gold against the Japanese. And today we played for the bronze and we lost against Qatar with the score 79-63.

Remember our post comparing the internationally known basketball coach Rajko Toroman and PBA coach Chot Reyes?

We now have the answers to our questions.

Here are my thoughts coach, you can use these as your fair enough excuses for the 4th place finish in the Qualifier for 2013 FIBA Asia Championship:

  • Poor officiating. The technical foul given by the Lebanese Referee. Remember the technical foul meted on Chot Reyes some years ago? I don't know if you remember that but I definitely do. It was a costly mistake from the basketball guru back then and it definitely made matters worse for his team this time. Try to watcht the video below and listen to what the Dean of Philippine Sports journalism has to say coaching in the international basketball.

  • Not enough time. Smart Gilas 2 was formed in less than six months. Same old, same old! I don't know if we are all afflicted with amnesia as a nation or we're plain stupid. Doing the same things all over again but expecting different results. if this is not amnesia then I'm sure this is short-sightedness. 
  • Mismatched basketball skills. I truly believe that PBA is not NBA and that we should not do a "Dream Team" approach. This Dream Team  problem is basically rooted on two things: mismatched basketball skills and not enough time. When I say mismatched skills, I mean our professional basketball players aren't good enough to play in the FIBA system which follows amateur rules. Unless the Philippines can send 12 players with an average height of 6'8" whose skills are those of Danny Siegle during his MVP-like years and with a basketball system ala-Ron Jacobs or Rajko Toroman, forget it. We don't stand a chance against Iran, China and Korea's basketball program. Check the stats of the game and you won't believe what you will see in the Turn over section.
  • Coaching. We can send all the coaches PBA for our national team together and we will still fail. The reason is simple: FIBA system is not PBA. Don't go out and telling the Filipinos that we've got a chance or that the drive and pass is is answer to our dream of ever winning the gold in FIBA. C'mon guys, you know very well it's not.
  • Injury. Injuries happen  because of accidents or because of poor conditioning exercises prior to the tournament. I've heard stories that Rajko Toroman was a fucked-up coach in terms of preparation: system play, drills and more drills. Players hated him for this but in the end, the team he handled was far better on court. They were quicker and they played good basketball IQ. You can have an off-night offensively but never an off-night defensively. 
  • Am I rooting for Toroman? Not necessarily. We don't know each other and I only know him through the media. Am I against Reyes? Definitely no but history have shown that he was never successful in international basketball.

And please don't go into the commitment-sacrifice-respect talk for these players. They are paid to play for the country and the best thing they can ever do is to give us the gold. We rally behind you and guys come up with poor defensive rotations, poor basketball sense and worst of all, you hide behind these talks of commitment etc.

Not that talk please.

MVP trusts the coaching staff of Smart Gilas 2 and he has poured out his support in SG2. Is there a basketball program installed in our country? There was I know some years ago but then when it failed to bag the gold, we shifted back to the proven and tested to fail system: PBA players.

Sad part for Philippine basketball is that football is slowly inching its way up in the awareness level of the Filipinos. Sooner or later, basketball will just be another sports in the Philippines. It will no longer be the centerpiece of UAAP and NCAA.

I don't want a 4th place finish, I want the gold.

Bad trip talo na naman tayo!!!  

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