Faith in the Filipino baller | Inquirer Sports
One Game At A Time

Faith in the Filipino baller

/ 05:15 AM September 18, 2018

The point of a basketball game is to put the ball in the hoop and in the recent Philippines-Iran Fiba World Cup qualifier game in Tehran, the Filipino side simply could not make the shots it needed.

Sadly, the Iranians, even without their veteran slot man Hamed Haddadi controlling the inside, hit crucial shots, even treys, to turn back the gutsy visitors.

Philippine national basketball team followers immediately got why the team couldn’t get a chance to stay in the game.

Filipino fans are among the most astute in the world and don’t require much analysis to understand basketball.


And yet there is also a nagging impatience on their part, formed perhaps by years of frustration of Philippine teams losing to the Chinese, Koreans and other Asian basketball powers.

Some of the setbacks have been heartbreakers and have brought out the nastiest aches citizens can have for a national team.

Some followers are very demanding, venting their frustrations on social media.  In a very public space like online platforms, rules of politeness and even decency have been violated.

There are some coaches who know how to work within the social media sphere while there are many who simply refuse to have any online accounts.


Rather than dismiss the criticism as being merely crab mentality or armchair analysis, the yearning to see Filipino basketball teams succeed is anchored on significant reasons.

First, the Philippines has a storied tradition of basketball greatness on the international stage.  Before China, Korea and Japan learned the game, Filipinos were already good at it.


Years of mentoring by American physical education teachers, servicemen and religious academics spawned a unique Filipino hoop abilidad (gamesmanship) that kept players in good stead in foreign competition.

Second, basketball is the game of many youths unless they were banned from it by parents who felt the sport was a distraction to getting a diploma.

Third, there is undying faith in the skills of the Filipino basketball player.  He or she is believed to be more talented than others because of tradition and DNA but perhaps only needs to relearn the game from a more cooperative perspective.

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There’s also a need to make more shots from the outside against teams that can’t seem to miss from the perimeter or use them to claw back against early leads of Philippine teams.

TAGS: Basketball, Fiba World Cup, Philippine national basketball team

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