THE FIBA World Cup is a year away but it will not hurt if Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes takes a second look at an offer by long-time Adamson University professor and basketball historian Jose Ma. Bonifacio Escoda.
Escoda, author of “Warsaw of Asia: The rape of Manila” and currently finishing a book chronicling the history of Philippine basketball, has volunteered to teach Reyes and the whole team simple Spanish lessons before the worlds slated next year in various Spanish cities.
‘‘Amigo, por favor amigo pls relay message to them. I can give free simple Spanish lessons (survival and conversational method) to media and Gilas team so they can socialize and interview players of Spain and from Latin America who don’t know how to speak English,” said Escoda.
Escoda, who is fluent in Spanish, has been teaching the course at Adamson for 32 years.
Escoda said he is also willing to teach journalists the language.
“‘By knowing how to speak Spanish, I believe that our sportswriters will be able to do their jobs very well,” said Escoda, who is related to World War II heroine Josefa Llanes Escoda.
Gilas Pilipinas ignited a country-wide celebration after qualifying for the Fiba World Cup. The Nationals bowed to Iran in the gold-medal game, 85-71.
Escoda also said sweet-shooting two-time Olympian Jimmy Mariano, and not Robert Jaworski, captained the 1973 Philippine team which won the gold medal in the Asian championship.
“Jaworski was team captain of the national teams which saw action during the 1971 ABC in Tokyo and 1974 Asian Games,” stressed Escoda.