MANILA, Philippines – After a woeful showing in the 2018 Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup, the Gilas Cadets still vie to stay focused on their goal of developing the team’s chemistry.
The Cadets – the young national pool formed for the 2023 FIBA World Cup – absorbed their 5th loss in 6 outings even as Kobe Paras played his best game yet in their loss to the National University Bulldogs on Tuesday night, May 15.
"Masakit para sa amin to see our young players after the games. Down sila at very disappointed," said Chooks-to-Go president Ronald Mascariñas, the team's chief backer. "But we always make them realize na every Gilas team starts off this way before learning how to bounce back from adversity.”
(It pains us to see our young players after the games. They’re down and very disappointed. But we always make them realize that every Gilas team starts off this way before learning how to bounce back from adversity.)
The Cadets opened their campaign in the preseason collegiate tournament with 3 straight losses against the Ateneo Blue Eagles (69-75), the La Salle Green Archers (72-91), and the San Beda Red Lions (70-91).
After the Cadets picked up their first win over the Perpetual Help Altas (72-63), they collapsed again versus the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons (72-78) and the NU Bulldogs (81-86).
"We joined the preseason tournament not because we want to rack up the wins," said Mascariñas. “Any brand wants a winner but the main purpose of entering this tournament is that we want to give the Cadets an exercise to build brotherhood and for us to see the next step needed for them to grow as a team.”
Mascariñas said some of the players will be called up for the upcoming 2018 Asian Games, that’s why the team that also banners Ricci Rivero, Abu Tratter, and Juan Gomez de Liano hopes to stay on track of their buildup despite the early frustrations.
"Ano gagawin natin? Iwanan sila because of their losses in the Preseason Cup? That’s not going to happen. Walang iwanan," said Mascariñas. "The kids need us now more than ever."
(What are we going to do? Just leave them because of their losses in the Preseason Cup? That’s not going to happen. We’re not abandoning them. The kids need us now more than ever.) – Rappler.com