Smart-Gilas falls versus Jordan

I was hoping to see Marcus Douthit swat a shot from all Jordan players. 

Initially I want to do on a play-by-play but I wanted to watch the games and because I’m feeling under the weather, I’m just swig words after timeouts and quarters. Smart-Gilas again started slow but Jordan didn’t capitalize on it. The end of the first quarter had us leading, 18 to 12 with Sam Daghles in foul trouble. On our side, Mark Barroca, Kelly Williams, and Chris Lutz have two fouls apiece.

In the second quarter, it seems like we are hesitating on our shots. Again this is the problem the team has had for some time now. Looking for the open man is nice but clear looks can’t really be passed up frequently. Also Islam Abbaas and Rasheim Wright are carrying the load for Jordan especially with Daghles sitting out the whole second quarter and with them shooting a poor ten percent from the three-point line. At the five minute mark of the second quarter, Jordan is up 23 to 22. Rajko Toroman asked for a timeout. Thanks to JV Casio, Ranidel De Ocampo, and Douthit, the Smart-Gilas squad managed to sneak a 28-27 lead come halftime.

At the start of the second half, Jordan chucked in a 32 to 30 start before Chris Lutz ties it. At the middle mark of the third, Islam Abbaas gets injured. Abbas eventually returns but no thanks to Smart-Gilas’ lack of fluidity, Jordan is leading 46 to 39. By this time, Team Pilipinas should be starting their tear. I feel the lack of intensity is evident at both sides of the spectrum. Jimmy Alapag returns to the action and all of a sudden we can see the difference between Alapag and Casio. Alapag makes his teammates look good while Casio makes his teammates look good when he gets his rhythm. As the third quarter close we are down 49 to 41. Smart-Gilas has only scored 23 points in the last two quarters.


At the start of the fourth quarter, we were on the verge of getting near but Jordan then put on a scoring binge. Mental lapses were a key here and more than anything... why are our boys tentatively? Why are we choking?  Rajko Toroman is just sitting idly on the sidelines when the excitement level is down. Marcio Lassiter, has been shooting blanks and this is bad considering that he has been on the game the most with the exception of Douthit. Douthit has been hobbled by double team and instead of helping, the players are just standing there looking for Douthit to bail them out. I was led to believe that Japeth Aguilar and Mac Baracael are good players. I can see them dazzling Jordan with their exceptional moves because at least they want the spotlight after sitting out so many games. Why are they getting benched? And you can batch Mark Barroca here because he only sees normal action at the start of the first quarter. Toroman could have used spark plugs. In the fight against Bahrain, Aguilar was a vital cog in making the lead rise up to unreachable limits. Baracael played well in their first game against UAE. I thought they were good players but mere sidebars but when Smart-Gilas was looking uninspired I believe these two could have provided something.

And as for Richard Del Rosario and Peter Martin trying to insert good words to make the broadcast bearable, they just couldn’t. The second half was always our strong suit and from the Finals, what are the chances of the squad to make the qualifiers against Korea or dammit... China.

The game ended with Team Pilipinas folding to Jordan to the tune of 75 to 61.

One lesson we need to learn here is that we always need to have our swagger. It’s not hard to turn on the players because our dedication was at a high before the match. The team has everything handed to them like a great naturalized player in Douthit, a great supporter in the presence of Manny Pangilinan, a decent group stage, the falter of Iran, and the fact that we had Marcio Lassiter and Chris Lutz on our side...

Hell it was just frustrating. It sucks because I want them to win. I don't want the gallant fight speech because watching the game, I want our boys to sob happy tears as they wait for the winner of the Korea and China match? Instead we wasted a perfect opportunity to for the first time since 1985, become the Kings of Asia and since 1972, face the best in the world in a big-time environment. 

But I will still support Smart-Gilas against whoever they face in the last seat for the Olympic qualifiers.

All we need is one more win. 


Game over.


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