Smart-Gilas will get the third place!

Remember that heartbreaking Lee Sang Min buzzer-beater that dashed the hopes of the Philippines to claim at least a silver medal finish in the 2002 Asian Games?

Please do.

Because it’s payback time!

In a couple of hours, the honor of going to the qualifiers is the task at hand for Philippines and Korea. For Korea, this is not an unusual situation. For Smart-Gilas Pilipinas, this is very, very important. Let’s just brush off the Jordan loss because I guess this is payback for messing up their psyche when Marcio Lassiter and Chris Lutz were fielded in hastily without their knowledge.

But hey, it’s not our fault that Hagop and the rest of their cronies aren’t “in the know”.

Anyway, with Jordan hoping to score a less “stressful” loss against the Chinese team, we have a chance to end this tournament with a win. A very, very awesome win!  

Now I don’t know how they’ll get the win and I won’t even speculate. All I know is that if we are angry as hell at Jordan and we want to vent our frustrations on Korea. Rajko Toroman will probably use the dreaded man-to-man defense to stop Korea from unloading the jumpers and he’ll probably place Marcus Douthit on Ha Seung-Jin. Moon Tae Jong aka Jarod Stevenson played his worst scoring performance in the tourney against China and I bet my balls Toroman will unleash Chris Lutz to make the Kor-Am struggle.

I’ll rather have Smart-Gilas start slow than end weak so I am betting on a powerful second half to seal the deal for the Nationals. Everyone must step up and every person in that core must be liable to whatever turnover, missed attempt, and missed rebound they make. I am certain that a bunch of shockers will be needed because it was easy for Jordan to see what we have in store for them because they have scouted our guns. Yes, I am insinuating the use of Japeth Aguilar and Mac Baracael. This is the story for Gilas – we have a problem with size but all 12 men can ignite a mind-boggling rally! So this also means that Jimmy Alapag, Chris Tiu, JV Casio, Ranidel De Ocampo, Kelly Williams, Asi Taulava, and Mark Barroca must step up!


But the good news is that our bad scoring night will end tomorrow! I have that gut feeling that they will play with so much fire and they’ll burn the Koreans with their inside game and torrid defense. This is not the 2002 team that only played for the gold and never cared less of the bronze medal. This is the team that for two years spilled blood, sweat, and guts to get the recognition Smart-Gilas deserves!  

We are not here to choke. 

We are here TO WIN! 

If this is Slam Dunk, I'd compare China to Kainan, Korea to Ryonan, and Philippines to Shohoku. Shohoku failed to score an outright entry but they won their do or die match against Ryonan and after that, Sakuragi and company improved leaps and bounds in the main tourney! 

We should be proud of the accomplishments that the Smart-Gilas squad got. But maybe we should be angry! Smart-Gilas should be angry! They expected to cream the competition and they wanted to win the 2011 FIBA-Asia Championship badly! Olsen Racela’s missed free throws, Jong Uichico’s inability to make smart coaching decisions, and that Lee Sang Min triple in 2002 was actually the start of the PBA’s declining ratings and low attendance on games that aren’t Ginebra. Now the PBA is recovering but this is solely because we are reclaiming our international prestige.

So imagine what wonders we can do once we got to the qualifiers.

I know we shouldn’t count the eggs before they hatch but like I said... imagine it. 


Game over!


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