Love, prayers for Asiad five
With little preparation and the opposition in the region as tough as ever, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) is exhorting the country to rid itself of the negative vibes and throw its full support behind the Philippine Basketball Association-backed squad that will play in the Asian Games this month.
“This is our Gilas Pilipinas team, let’s show it the love and support we have given past Gilas squads when we go to Indonesia,” SBP president Al Panlilio told the Inquirer over the phone on Tuesday morning, a day after the country re-entered the Asiad basketball event.
The country has gone through a lot in the past two months and it doesn’t need more controversies as the team starts to get together Monday under the fiery Yeng Guiao, according to Panlilio.
“We all know that we will be battling national teams of the other countries,” Panlilio said. “Our team needs our love and our prayers.”
The core of the Rain or Shine team, which Guiao led to two PBA championships before moving to NLEX, and Christian Standhardinger, Stanley Pringle and Paul Lee, among others, make up the 14-man pool.
The Philippine cage program was thrown in disarray after the international basketball federation (Fiba) slapped multiple game suspensions on some Gilas regulars, the result of an on-court brawl with Australia in a World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers game last July 2 at Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
Panlilio is grateful for the players called for answering at such short notice.
On Sunday, Standhardinger’s team, San Miguel Beer, lost 87-83 to sister team Barangay Ginebra in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals.
The Beermen dropped 2-3, but the Filipino-German rookie was buoyed up upon learning he would be part of the Asiad five.
“I want to use the break to strengthen my left knee but the country calls and I want to represent the country,” said Standhardinger. “I want to make my fellow Filipinos proud” —WITH A REPORT FROM BONG LOZADA, INQUIRER.NET
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