First full view of China struck awe
ANDRAY Blatche of the Gilas Pilipinas team last week claimed he knows of a better way to play tall China.
The naturalized center of the Philippine national team in the Fiba Asia championship suggested talking to his coach on how they could execute better against the Chinese team.
It was obvious Blatche had all the while been looking forward to meeting China in the Fiba Asia final game (scheduled last night.)
Yes, Blatche has an idea how to stop the Chinese team.
But it’s clear he did not exactly mean the unbeaten squad that had ruled the Fiba Asia series from Day One to the semifinals.
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If ever, Blatche made his rosy pronouncement based on what he had seen individually of Chinese opposition during his stint in the China professional basketball circuit this year, where he has played as an import.
Blatche has so far not made any comment after China’s ferocious ouster of Iran on Friday, where the full force of the rampant host squad, coached by the famous Gong Louming and powered at the post by four seven-footers, was unraveled.
Actually, there was practically nothing solid on the Chinese national squad, its full composition and overall might, until its merciless drubbing of the exiting Fiba Asia ruler, which got blown off the court.
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With the China-Iran game still to be played on Friday, there rose a unanimous sentiment that Gilas Pilipinas would be better off clashing with Iran, which it had beaten last week, in the final of the Olympic Qualifier.
Reason given: It would be doubly tough dealing with China in its own homecourt.
There were also fears that Gilas Pilipinas could fall victim to biased officiating.
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With Iran still a possible final opponent on Friday, there were even suggestions of partying in the streets, maybe Sunday morning, after the Saturday night Fiba Asia final.
A wisp of apprehension would however crease various corners of the national basketball community after the dismantling of the Iran team by China.
There was no denying that the tall, sweep China team had been formed and primed to dominate: Now more than ever.
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Yes, Gilas Pilipinas, great and gallant, would have to surpass itself in order to succeed against China.
But although Gilas Pilipinas had blown hot and cold, while China ruled evenly, the Philippine national team has been known to rise to the occasion in the most trying times.
Gilas Pilipinas is known to dig into magical native reserves of skill and fighting spirit—PUSO—during impossible moments.
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