'Living Legend' Jaworski to Gilas: Embrace the challenge | Inquirer Sports

‘Living Legend’ Jaworski to Gilas: Embrace the challenge

By: - Reporter / @MarkGiongcoINQ
/ 12:33 AM February 12, 2014

Sports icon Robert Jaworski knows what it’s like to play in the world stage. MARK GIONGCO

MANILA, Philippines — Robert Jaworski slightly raised his elbow then pointed to his knee.

“You got elbows in front of you the size of your knee,” the PBA legend said, describing the kind of opposition the country faces in the FIBA World Cup in Spain.

Gilas Pilipinas will find itself in the land of giants when it makes a return trip to the world stage after nearly four decades in August as it goes up against the world’s best.

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But Jaworski isn’t fazed at all. In fact, he likes the kind of challenge it brings.

“Those guys are heftier. But it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. You take the challenge. Let the pride work; the pride of being able to represent the country, and the pride of bringing something respectable for your people,” said Jaworski, who made an unannounced appearance in Game 6 of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals between his former team Barangay Ginebra and San Mig Coffee at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Monday night.

“It’s tough. But as I always say, I would rather play against the good teams and show my best and probably try and win, than play a mediocre team and lose,” added the former playing-coach Jaworski.

The Philippines, drawn in Group B, plays world giants Argentina and Greece along with EuroBasket semifinalist Croatia, Puerto Rico and Senegal—needing at least two wins to progress past the preliminary round.
“They’re in a really tough group. But is there a chance? Why not? As I said it’s a game of opportunities,” said the former Senator Jaworski.

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More than winning, Jaworski, who had been through several international competitions during his heyday, said competing in the World Cup is a great opportunity for the players to showcase their talents and for the country to show what it’s made of.

Jaworski’s message is clear when he compared a Filipino player’s knee to be as the same size as some seven-foot player from another country’s elbow come August.

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“The committment should be overwhelming because of the toughness of the competition.”

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TAGS: Basketball, Fiba World Cup, Gilas Pilipinas, Philippines, Robert Jaworski, Sports

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