Forget about SEA Games

Imagine Justin Brownlee donning the Gilas jersey. For chrissakes!

Clearly, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas hasn’t recovered and moved on from the embarrassment Gilas Pilipinas suffered during last year’s Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi that it is neck-deep in preparations for the one Phnom Penh is hosting in May.

Last time I heard, head coach Chot Reyes told this paper’s guy on the basketball beat that they are facing problems relative to the formation of the team that will be fielded not only to win the SEA Games gold but destroy the opposition in Cambodia.

I was there in Hanoi and saw how Indonesia — one of the Filipinos’ favorite punching bags in the regional meet — sent the star-studded squad back to Manila in disbelief.

You know, things happen and it was obvious that the stunning loss was just a freak accident.

I am sure that if the two teams slug it out ten more times, the Indonesians would get beaten 11 times.

Anyway, the Gilas coach and the SBP inner circle have expressed concern over the injuries of key players whose names have been submitted to Cambodia owing to protocol.

According to the SBP, players can no longer be replaced and the final composition of the Philippine team will have to come from the list which had been forwarded to SEA Games organizers.

Given the dilemma they’re facing, Gilas Pilipinas isn’t totally going to obliterate their opponents in Phnom Penh since several top dogs and even the Japan-based dribblers won’t be suiting up.

But with vengeance as motivation, Gilas Pilipinas would still win convincingly.

Imagine Justin Brownlee donning the Gilas jersey. For chrissakes!

Here’s why I was compelled to do this piece.

May I suggest that in the future, a select collegiate squad be sent to compete instead of PBA players so the young ones get a taste of international play?

Those who stand out during the SEA Games will then be recruited and nurtured and taken into the Gilas program.

Guys, let’s forget about the SEA Games.

I thought the Philippines is now nearing world-class status?

Come on, we’ve been beating some of the top Asian squads and it’s a waste of resources to be giving too much thought about the basketball gold in the SEA Games.

Even if a collegiate squad loses in the SEA Games, so what?

Filipino basketball fans, I think, are knowledgeable enough to know that our level of play is already beyond SEA Games.

Why are we so obsessed about beating up the Thais, Malaysians and Indonesians when we all know that even if we end up winning by a margin of 100 points, the fact remains that it’s just the SEA Games.

And that the true Filipino cage fan would not trade a truckload of SEA Games basketball gold medals for a victory over China, Korea or Iran for Asian Games or FIBA Asia supremacy.

We’ve outgrown SEA Games basketball.

Let the others represent the country.

Okay, let me put it this way.

Wouldn’t you feel ashamed if you see a bunch of muscled men picking a fight with a pack of anemic and skinny guys on the street?

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