Fiba Asia Cup loss of ‘Gilas kuyas’ spurs SEAG-bound PH team on
Baser Amer said he had a hard time sleeping after Gilas Pilipinas bowed out of the 2017 Fiba Asia Cup in a humiliating 118-86 defeat to Korea early Thursday morning.
“When they got blown out, I struggled to get some sleep,” he shared in Filipino. “I took it really hard because us Filipinos doesn’t want to lose.”
Amer wasn’t only one who went to bed in a gloomy mood as thousands of Filipinos stayed up late only to witness the national team fail to advance past the quarterfinals.
What made the defeat tougher to swallow was it came at the hands of its fierce rival Koreans, who continued to own the Philippines’ number in continental tournaments.
The Philippines has a chance to avenge that failed bid in Fiba Asia with a strong showing in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games, which will be represented by the younger members of the Gilas Pilipinas pool.
And that’s actually one of the the motivations for the SEA Games-bound Gilas crew.
“We need to rebound for our kuyas (older brothers),” said Kiefer Ravena on Thursday in the Chooks-to-Go-hosted sendoff at Edsa Shangri-la. “It’s a motivation for us to want (the gold) even more and be hungrier.”
Gilas assistant coach Jimmy Alapag praised these group for feeling that way, noting that it’s just natural for this team to seek redemption to make up for the loss incurred by their Fiba Asia counterparts.
“Of course, if you see your brother and see him fall short of a goal, as the younger brother, I think you wanna go out there and make everyone here at home forget about the loss from last night. The only way you do that and go to the SEA Games and put another great effort and do our best to win a gold medal,” he said.
With the Philippines relegated to the classification phase for fifth to eighth place in the Asian championship, the SEA Games roster knows that the pressure is now on them as they eye to win the gold medal for the 18th time.
“It’s our turn for redemption,” said Amer. “We have to defend our kuyas. We know the weight they are carrying because all of us are watching them. So with the SEA Games, we know all eyes will now be on us. We just want to help them and protect our fort. All we want when we come home here is that we’re all going to be happy.”
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