Gilas ‘hurting’ over FIBA Asia loss to China

Jane Bracher
Gilas ‘hurting’ over FIBA Asia loss to China
"There’s nobody in there that feels content with the result or the performance," says Gilas coach Tab Baldwin

MANILA, Philippines – Like every other Filipino basketball fan right now, Gilas Pilipinas is hurting over the tough loss to China in the final of the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship Saturday, October 3.

The loss meant the Philippines fell short of their goal to win the gold and qualify outright for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The country’s last participation in the Olympics’ men’s basketball tournament was in 1972.

“Very down. There’s nobody in there that feels content with the result or the performance. They’re disappointed,” Gilas head coach Tab Baldwin said, referring to the hard-fighting players who sacrificed for the national cause the past couple of months. 

“They know what’s going on back home, they understand that. We’re blessed that we have the prayers that come to us from the Philippines, from our families and people that love us back home.

“I don’t feel that we let them down but we were down and disappointed. We hurt for ourselves, we hurt for them, we hurt for MVP and the people who supported us.”

“We’re thinking we had an opportunity tonight and we didn’t measure up for whatever reasons. And there’s plenty,” he added.

(READ: SBP’s Vargas thanks some PBA teams – and Pingris – for Gilas support)

Gilas struggled mightily against the much bigger China with its 4 7-footers. A miserable 25% shooting from the outside was the nail in the coffin for the Filipino crew, along with 35.4% total field goal shooting, only 7 assists, and just 15-of-26 makes from the foul line.

“We certainly worked hard, we certainly fought hard and the game didn’t go our way. We didn’t shoot the ball well from the perimeter and we knew it would be very difficult to get to the rim with China’s frontline,” lamented Baldwin.

“We had difficulty getting baskets in and around the paint. When you play a basketball game like that it’s tough to win.”

(READ: MVP thinks Gilas should sit out FIBA Olympic Qualifying tourney)

In the aftermath several Gilas players have taken to social media to express their feelings on their campaign in Changsha.

“Didn’t get what we came here for but blessed to be part of Gilas.. Thank you to everybody who made it possible.we came up short but We hope we made you proud,” said Dondon Hontiveros on his Instagram account.

“Heart hurts right now…but huge thanks to those that support Gilas! Another opportunity in July to get to Rio,” wrote Gabe Norwood on his Twitter account.

The American-Kiwi coach that led Oceania to a semifinal finish in the 2002 FIBA World Championship is looking forward to getting back to work and hopefully lead Gilas to more than a silver medal finish.

“We look forward to the next opportunity to come to an Asian tournament and do better. We need to improve by one place, that’s two seconds for the Philippines in a row,” he said. “We need to figure out a way to improve and I believe we will.” –

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