Our final loss against an Asia team

Marcus Douthit scoring out of his comfort zone.

Too many one-on-one plays.

Poor shot selections.

Turnovers killing us.

Players just watching the Iranians score.

JV Casio is injured.

This is the same problem we had in all of the international basketball tournaments we participate in.

To add insult to injury, Mark Barroca got injured while getting an inbound.

By the way, President Noynoy Aquino wished Smart-Gilas good luck before the game.

Did he just jinxed the squad?

Speaking of Barroca, he was a gem especially in the first half. As Douthit, Chris Tiu, Dondon Hontiveros, and the rest of the squad struggled; Barroca and Mac Baracael tried their best in making the match respectable for our favor.

It was a convincing victory for the Iranians but technically it was Hamed Haddadi that killed our chances. His total output was a mere slight fraction of the Philippines’ total output. He creamed us in the inside and our offensive inadequacies combined for their explosive win. Actually if we just let Haddadi do that but at the same time, attack the basket, we could have at least given a worthy fight on the Iranians. Douthit’s midrange jumper bailed on him and it seems that the rest of the Gilas squad was watching him do it all.

In my short span of coaching my office department’s basketball team (I wonder why I brought this up), the thing I hate the most is big men not forcing their way towards the basket. This is why people would love Dennis Espino than Jun Limpot. When you have the power, it’s a sin to not use it. In the PBA where physicality is encouraged especially in big games, we didn’t see that in the Iran game. The fangs were brought down and I was hoping Rajko Toroman would use Jason Ballesteros to do something Mark Yee-ish. I hated how Haddadi used his size to piss off the team’s chance to face Korea in the 2011 Jones Cup finals.

But what’s past is past.

Hopefully this is the last time Smart-Gilas lose against any opponent inside Asia. The reason why Casio was not sent in is because this cup is a mere test for even bigger things.

I would love to see Team Pilipinas win the Chinese-Taipei match and then win the 2011 FIBA-Asia Championship so that I can see Smart-Gilas play in the 2012 London Olympics.

Game over.


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