Philippine basketball

Barrios says SBP conscious of fans’ dismay: ‘We’re doing our best’

Delfin Dioquino
Barrios says SBP conscious of fans’ dismay: ‘We’re doing our best’

REDEMPTION. Gilas Pilipinas looks to bounce back from a series of disappointing performances.

FIBA

SBP executive director Sonny Barrios asks fans to stick around as the federation tries to steer Gilas Pilipinas back in the right direction

MANILA, Philippines – The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas hears Gilas Pilipinas’ fans.

SBP executive director Sonny Barrios asked fans to stick around as the federation tries to steer the national team back in the right direction after a series of disappointing performances.

The SBP and Gilas coach Chot Reyes have been under intense scrutiny especially after the squad fell short of a 14th straight gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games in May following a shocking loss to Indonesia.

It only got worse when the Philippines failed to reach the quarterfinals of the FIBA Asia Cup in July, marking its worst finish in the continental showdown in 15 years.

“We understand the expectations of our nation,” Barrios said in a mix of Filipino and English during the Philippine Sportswriters Association online forum.

“All of us are not happy when we lose, especially when it happens against a team that we’re not supposed to lose to.”

The SBP is making a big push to get Gilas back on track as it tapped Filipino-American NBA player Jordan Clarkson for the fourth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers this August.

Filipino star Kai Sotto will also see action in the August window – the first time in more than a year that the 7-foot-3 big man will suit up for the national team.

Aside from the addition of Clarkson and Sotto, the SBP also secured the commitment of eliminated PBA teams in the Philippine Cup to lend their players to Gilas.

“I want to [ask] our public, please do not leave our Gilas,” Barrios said. “I know you’re expecting a lot that you’re not getting now, but we’re doing our best.”

Barrios said the SBP wants to replicate the Philippines’ inspiring showing in the 2014 FIBA World Cup, where it almost beat Croatia, Argentina, and Puerto Rico before ending the tournament with a win over Senegal.

In those three defeats, Gilas lost by just a measly average of 3.7 points.

“Our countrymen want that kind of performance and that is the goal – to get to that level of play, and perhaps, even improve on that,” Barrios said. – Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.