We can’t go on losing like this
There’ll be no agreement, no unified opinion on who, what caused that scandalous on-court basketball brawl at Philippine Arena on Monday.
Both the Philippines and Australian teams have apologized for the embarrassing incident that marred the World Cup qualifying series.
Fine, but the finger-pointing cannot be expected to end there.
For one, there were reports Australia has been batting for the cancellation (by the Fiba) of the scheduled hosting by the Philippines of the basketball World Cup in 2023.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas stands to be the biggest loser, said SBP president Al Panlilio.
The expected sanctions and suspensions from the ruling world basketball body could also imperil the Philippine team stint in this year’s Asian Games.
It, however, goes without saying the Philippines has become the biggest victim of that shameful episode that involved unruly spectators and which spread to the stands.
It has painted another ugly picture of national behavior all over the world.
“Nakakahiya, a great shame,” gasped a trusted, well-admired lady dentist from her clinic near the San Felipe Parish Church in Mandaluyong City.
She doubted if the unsavory impression could be remedied and cleared.
Can we expect an impartial investigation by SBP, the ruling national sports body?
Based on initial claims, the SBP tended to put the blame on the referees that worked the dreadful mismatch.
Of course, the Fiba body can only be expected to zero in on the role of the Philippine team coach, who allegedly ordered a toxic stand, including hitting and dumping Australian players who had allegedly bullied Filipino team members even during the pregame warmups.
That’s incredible, and it would be great of the Fiba to look deeper.
If true, shouldn’t there be a way to replace unworthy officials during a big game?
What made the Philippine team coach think he has the license to order foul moves to counter or contain perceived dirty violations by the Australian team?
NBA great Luc Longley, an assistant Australian national coach, singled out PH coach Chot Reyes for igniting the brutal melee.
“I do believe their coach ordered them to come out and thug us,” Longley said. “I think there’s a video of that.”
Former Gilas team leader Jimmy Alapag was right in calling the incident shameful.
It also smeared the legacy of Filipino greats starting from Chito Calvo, Ambrosio Padilla, Jacinto Ciria Cruz (in the Berlin Olympics) down to Carlos Loyzaga, Lauro Mumar et al in the 1954 Rio de Janeiro world championship, Robert Jaworski, Ramon Fernandez, the gallant Samboy Lim, and countless others.
There must be renewal in the national basketball body including the coaching staff.
We can’t go on losing like this.
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