Gilas: Good start; no clear next path
(FAREWELL, GENTLE BROTHER: A text message from columnist Al S. Mendoza midday on Monday said: “Dialysis last 2 years; 2 sons, Bakoy, working at the DAP, and Jessie Boy, assistant pharmacist at the Cardinal Santos Hospital, both inaanak ko sa binyag. Pareng Mike Ramos died peacefully, whose words were ‘Papang’ (his father) and ‘Al’, before he breathed his last.” Mike Ramos, 68, a well-loved son of Mangatarem, Pangasinan, lies in state at Evergreen Memorial Chapel on C. Raymundo, Pasig City. He was a dedicated and invaluable part of the PBA sportswriting fraternity, a regular in the old Tour of Luzon, who did errands and assisted us tirelessly in interviews, analyses, editorial work, mainly during our Sports Flash (magazine) days. He was dear friend to the likes of Bobby Jaworski, Danny Floro, Samboy Lim, Luisito Espinosa, Hermie Rivera, Ave Perez Jacob, Clyde Mariano, and countless others, a selfless and loyal ally who would always end a tough, tiring day with a thankful smile. God bless you wonderful soul.)
Where to after this, Gilas Pilipinas?
No need to ask national team coach Chot Reyes. The fellow cannot himself offer a definite reply.
For one, Reyes is not the talented sort who would be caught calling the current Seaba championships—which his relatively young team is expected to sweep—a legit tune-up.
The Philippines was set to clash with Thailand Tuesday in its biggest match thus far.
The game should help explore and expose other suspect areas in the Gilas game.
Call the Gilas stint in the Seaba series an early general check-up, a test drive.
This year’s Gilas outfit, for one, cannot be compared to the original Gilas “Puso” national squad that did wonders in its first official European stint.
Gilas Pilipinas 2017 is definitely taller, younger, also with very promising perimeter gunners.
Can it hope to match the proud output of its predecessor?
For one, coach Chot has readily noted a dip in shooting percentage in the team’s second outing against Singapore.
But the other areas that could prove truly trying are poise and cohesion; all to be expected in a new younger team.
There are things which cannot be completed in a single big push.
Take it from veteran internationalist Marc Pingris, pillar and chief defender in the previous Gilas squad: “Gilas has an array of talented shooters, it has ceiling, but my advice is for them to play for the Philippine flag, not for the name printed at the back of their jerseys.”
Pingris, who attended the second game of the national squad, said Gilas 2017 will be needing tons of determination, dedication and heart.
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