The Last of Gilas Pilipinas 4.0

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Photo reference:
http://tv5.com.ph

Gilas Pilipinas’ journey to compete in the Rio Olympics ended with a heartbreaking loss to New Zealand, 89-80.

It only seemed like it was yesterday when we were all busy updating ourselves with how the practices were going, feeding ourselves with video clips we see online, watching Kuwentong Gilas, reading articles etc. We were all very excited for the Qualifiers and we were all hopeful that they will make it to the semis.

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Seeing both games firsthand was heartbreaking. I saw how devastated and disappointed they are of the outcomes. It was honestly those behind the camera moments that tears my heart. The first night was saddening, the players all went out of the Arena with bowed heads. I can feel their pain, but there was still an ounce of hope left. I remember Coach Compton stopping in front of the crowd saying, “May pag-asa pa tayo. Laban lang.” It was honestly very encouraging and it gave people hope.

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The second night, we all went there with high hopes and full of positivity. From the moment the game started, New Zealand already made it clear that they will fight hard for the win. Gilas Pilipinas were already struggling. When they lowered the lead to two, everyone were screaming and cheering, but again, New Zealand had a different plan. When the buzzer rang and it was clear that the game was over, our players went to the middle of the court. Some of the people already left, but others, those who are truly supporting the team stayed and applauded the team despite the fall. Some were still shouting “Laban Pilipinas! PUSO!” And it made my heart melt. It was really what the players needed at the time.

Most of the fans waited outside to greet and see the players. All Gilas Pilipinas wanted was some time alone, but their fans just can’t seem to let them go. We all know how painful and hard it is for them to accept the loss, it was painful for us and it sure does hurt more for them.

I remember Jeff Chan, Marc Pingris and Ranidel de Ocampo constantly apologizing to the people for falling short and it breaks my heart to see and hear them so sad about it. They all did their best, all we need is more practice and more international experience. I don’t know where the haters are coming from but I am still so proud of this team, no matter what.

Gabe Norwood didn’t get off the bus while his teammates did. He just sat there, head bowed down. I remember my friend and I calling him, he looked at us as we gestured that it was okay and “PUSO,” he just half-smiled and bowed his head as he wiped his tears away. It hurt. It broke our heart.

To the Gilas Pilipinas, please know that you don’t have to apologize, your true supporters know that you all did your best. There will be other opportunities, but for now, all I can say is, I am still so proud of all of you. Laban lang ng laban! Pagsubok lang to, Pilipino tayo.

Gilas Pilipinas 4.0

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Tonight, the Gilas Pilipinas Final 12 has been announced. It’s been one crazy roller coaster ride for these boys since training started last November. A lot of people have been and are still doubting the team, and it just saddens me that instead of supporting them, people are too busy  criticizing the choices of the coaches.

I am, honestly, really sad that Calvin Abueva didn’t make it to the final 12, I’d rather choose him over some of the players that were chosen, yes, but still, I know Coach Tab has a reason for choosing these men and if he trust them enough, why would I not? No matter what happens, I will always support whoever is in the team. One country, one scream, Laban Pilipinas! Puso!

I am so excited to see you all! Practice well, whatever happens, I’ll be here, cheering and supporting all of you until the end.

Photo reference:
http://twitter.com/sports5PH

Derrick Rose to Knicks

“The Knicks acquired Derrick Rose from the Bulls on Wednesday, hoping the former NBA MVP can be their answer at point guard.” – ESPN

Darn it, I know how sad you really are about being traded to another team and I know how much you love and don’t want to leave the Bulls, but maybe a fresh start is exactly what we need, D. Do good, improve more and prove them all wrong. I’ll be cheering and supporting you from across the globe, always. Love you and I’m so excited to watch you play for the Knicks next season!

Now, the Bulls would have to say goodbye to their “Windy City Assassin” because I bet they’ll never have one like you, e v e r.

#LabanPilipinas: National Team Pool

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Today, the PBA Board of Governors released 17 players to the national team pool making them the available players for Gilas Pilipinas in the Olympic wildcard qualifiers in July 2016.

The players released by the PBA Board of Governors are LA Tenorio, Japeth Aguilar, Calvin Abueva, Terrence Romeo, Marcio Lassiter, Greg Slaughter, June Mar Fajardo, Gabe Norwood, Jayson Castro, Paul Lee, Matt Rosser, Ryan Reyes, Marc Pingris, Ian Sangalang, Troy Rosario, Ranidel de Ocampo and Jeff Chan.

The Samahan Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) shall release a final line-up of 12 players to include the naturalized player by the end of January 2016.

Starting in November, the players will start preparing for the Olympic Qualifiers with a schedule of Monday practices before they step up on their training in June.

#RoadtoRio2016 is real.

#LabanPilipinas

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When the list of members for the Gilas 3.0 were out, everyone doubted this team, everyone kept looking for other players from the 2.0 team two years ago. Yes, I loved Gilas 2.0, but I love this team just as much. I never doubted you guys since day 1. Each and everyone of you were what the team needed and with the help of the right and awesome coach.

As the FIBA Asia 2015 began, you never failed to prove to everyone who doubted you that by having the strongest hearts and the biggest faith, you can do it, that you can fight until the end. It was such a happy feeling for me that you have come so far. You are truly our heroes.

You may have not brought home the gold and you may think that you guys ‘fell short’, but to me, to us, you guys are the real Champions. Silver may not be as good to you as gold, but believe me, you have earned so much more than what ‘gold’ is made of. You earned the respect and hearts of almost every Filipino in different parts of the world.

I may be just one of the millions of fans out there, but I just want to let you all know how proud I am of everything you’ve accomplished. You’ve been through so much since you left the country and now that you’re back, please know that your journey has just started.

We all know what happened back in China and let us not talk about it no more, let’s just use this experience as motivation to win next time!

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Walang bibitaw, walang susuko. Laban Pilipinas! PUSO!

Photo: FIBA