I told you so.
No, I did not, because I had no right to say that, having been a long-time football than a basketball fan and only tuning in if Tony Parker and Ricky Rubio were playing their NBA games.
But I have a question to ask of the Philippines’ basketball authorities: Do you employ a sports psychologist, you know, to instill in members of Gilas Pilipinas that winning against Angola was not the be-all of their participation in group play at the ongoing FIBA World Cup in China?
Well, what do you expect from Yeng Guaio’s boys who probably would be more motivated if they were promoting mobile phones, spirits, alcohol, cars, milk or other, rather than the pride and glory of the Philippines in a big stage of world basketball (we still believe that the Olympic Games is the biggest one).
And in the PBA, the corporate types who own the teams in Asia’s first professional basketball league get to have their cake and eat it, too, since they get free advertising every time their players take to the court.
Unlike in the NBA, squads there proudly carry the names of the states or cities that they are playing for (San Antonio Spurs, Minnesota Timber Wolves, Houston Rockers, Golden State Warriors), and so Parker and Rubio are not distracted by the thought that they have to pitch for the commercial products or tourist attractions of those states or cities.
Ranged also against Italy and Serbia in Group D in Foshan, Gilas Pilipinas lost to Angola in what loyalists of the country’s basketball lords said was a heartbreaker.
Come on, after falling to the Italians and the Serbians by blowouts, did any of the PBA-Gilas fanatics really expect our boys to rise from the dead and bury the Africans?
A little help from a sports psychologist would have made a difference between victory and defeat.
You know, some talk about getting out of the puso mindset and really socking it to the Angolans.
Up close, members of Gilas Pilipinas looked like lolos and kuyas of their counterparts from Italy, Serbia and Angola.
Also, come on, basketball is a young person’s game that should have no room for overweight or old players but look at the Gilas roster and weep.
It is also a big and tall man’s game for which the world powers are blessed with players who are born six-foot-five at their shortest (Kai Sotto is an exception to the genetic rule, so, guys perish the thought that 10 seven-footers are coming your way).
It’s time to rethink the country’s mindlessly giving basketball the priority that it does not deserve in these times where even the shadow of the next Carlos “The Big Difference” Loyzaga is not even remotely visible.
Loyzaga was playing for the pride and the glory of the Philippines and he did not care if he died doing it because he was not promoting beer or paint.
We surmise that he and the rest of the Philippine five that landed third in a world championship in the 1950s did not need a sports psychologist.
Gilas Pilipinas, however, most definitely needs a shrink.