It was not an easy series for the Gilas Pilipinas and the whole country but the results are worthwhile for us to be once again proud that we are Pinoys. In their finals game tonight in MOA Arena against the mighty Iranian team, WE have proven that a country that plays together wins together.
The game that Gilas fought was something to be proud of, as what coach Chot Reyes said, this is the game that he was very proud of the team. Iran is not an easy opponent considering their heights and dominance in Asian basketball, but we didn’t let them play easy with us. The 1st half of the game was very close it ended 15-17 in 1st quarter and 34-35 in the 2nd both in favor of Iran. Imagine the hard work they played to contain the Iranians, it’s something not only played by skills but the heart wanting to win.
In the early parts of 3rd quarter, Gilas still managed to contain the Iranians from pulling away even taking the lead 36-35 via Jason Castro’s freethrows. But the Iranian’s through Hadadi’s leadership were really tough as they managed to start the engine and slowly pulled away. 3rd quarter ended with Iran leading Gilas by 9 at 53-62. 4th quarter was all Iranian controlled period as they sustain the leads and went on winning it 71-85 giving them their back to back FIBA Asia championship and their gold medals. Iran’s win was contributed by Hadadi’s 41 points, 2 assists and 16 rebounds. For the Gilas it was Marc Pingris and Jimmy Alapag who paddled the 2nd place win with their 11 points (both), 0,3 assist and 8,0 rebounds respectively.
Backed by large supporting crowd in MOA Arena which includes several celebrity and political luminaries like the President himself Noynoy Aquino and VP Jojo Binay, the 2nd place win which is tantamount to a white gold medal (oppp silver that is, just kidding), still calls for a celebration. When we enter the FIBA Asia tournament the prevailing sentiment was to at least get the top 3 teams that will secure us the ticket to Spain in 2014 for the FIBA World cup. Now that we’re going to Spain and we still placed second in Asia even besting China and South Korea, is an achievement all Filipinos should be proud of. The hearts that we have put for this game and the unity that we’ve shown in support for Gilas is a good sign that we can really move forward as one country.
Congrats to Gilas Pilipinas and to every Filipinos who gave their hearts of support for the team. We may not have the gold medal but we won the “game” and I believe everyone will agree with it. Will look forward to the FIBA World Cup 2014 in Madrid Spain.