Upbeat Gilas Pilipinas back home from Fiba World Cup
MANILA, Philippines—Members of Gilas Pilipinas returned to Manila Tuesday morning with heads held high despite coming off a disappointing campaign in the 2019 Fiba World Cup in China.
The Philippine team came home without a single win after dropping all of its five games, including a pair of matches in the classification round against Tunisia and Iran, but there were plenty of lessons learned for the future.
“To all our kababayans, we went out there and tried to do our best. It might not look the best out there but we’re trying to get it right and try to learn and adjust on the fly,” team captain Gabe Norwood said in a video posted by ESPN5’s Lyn Olavario.
“We feel your pain and we apologize for putting you through it. We feel it as much as you do but have pride, have confidence and have just excitement for the future.”
With very limited time to prepare, the Nationals went into battle missing two of their best outside gunners in Marcio Lassiter and Matthew Wright due to injuries.
They opened the world meet getting manhandled by European powers Italy and Serbia by an average losing margin of 52.5 points.
Gilas then, was dealt with its most painful loss in the tournament after falling to lower-ranked Angola in overtime before absorbing another thumping from Tunisia and Iran in the consolation round.
Still, there are reasons to feel good about as far as the future is concerned with the country among the hosts in the 2023 World Cup.