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Asian National Teams
Philippines - If not Beijing then London


Filipino cage athletes and fans dream of the Philippine team making it to the Beijing Olympics next year. Can the dream come true?

Why not? Didn?t our team shine in Thailand last week? We must commend the Philippines? men?s basketball team for sweeping (and topping) the Seaba Men?s Basketball Championships held at Ratchaburi, Thailand.

That victory (which was somewhat expected from the multi-millionaire PBA All-Star selection), gave the country a ticket to the FIBA Asia Men?s Basketball Championships in Tokushima, Japan. There, at stake, is our country?s ticket to the Beijing Olympics in 2008. (FIBA is the international federation of amateur basketball associations. It governs the planet?s amateur basketball international competitions.)

Ever since the RP men?s cage team was formed a couple of years ago, the ultimate goal has always been to put the country back on the Olympic map in basketball. It was 35 years ago, in 1972, when the Filipinos last dribbled their way to the Games in Munich.

Coach Chot Reyes is tapped to make the Philippine dream come. A gargantuan task.

His program for our national cage team?s training was put in the back burner when the FIBA suspended the Philippines in 2005. It took more than a year for the ban to be lifted. During the ban, our basketball team could not even play in the SEAG games we hosted in 2005.

The announcement of the lifting of the ban made almost everyone rejoice. But Coach Reyes was subdued. He candidly told the basketball-crazy Filipino public that Philippine chances of winning a slot among the Asian countries qualified to play in the next Olympics are like climbing the Great Wall of China with one foot.

The RP 5 took fourth place in the FIBA Asia Club Championships in Tehran, Iran. This made PBA commissioner Noli Eala, seeing that the present Philippine team would not be able to get the job done in Japan, call for a review of the team?s composition. As fast as possible.

That gives us only two months to overhaul the RP 5 and to get it into championship shape and form?physically, mentally and psychically. Is it feasible? Will the overhaul be productive? We can never really tell.

FIBA lifted the suspension early in February and people are expecting in six months, Taulava, Seigle, Caguioa and company to rub elbows with LeBron, Kobe, Yao Ming, Ginobili, Nowitzki and Nash in the Beijing Games next year.

After the triumphant Thailand trip, Eala ordered the Pilipinas Basketball Team, including the coaching staff and sponsors, to ?regroup? and ?plot what?s the best? for the team to do. And Coach Reyes, though gladdened by his team?s 20-point win against Thailand, wryly said this RP 5 could not even beat a Chinese-Taipei team. He was only being realistic.

The ?last two minutes? call is now haunting the RP 5.

But the pursuit of the Olympic dream should continue. Basketball is the sports that most Filipinos love to watch and play. We could work to develop other sports that experts say more scientifically fit the Filipino build?like football. But we can?t just abandon basketball all of a sudden.

We may not qualify to take a glimpse of the Great Wall next year due to lack of time (and manpower?) but crossing the London Bridge in 2012 might be a viable target for the Filipino dribblers.

The effort to make it to the Olympics in London five years from now should start this very minute.
Respect and thanks for everything:

Alvertis, Bodiroga, Jasikevicius, Radja, Wilkins, Vrankovic, Fotsis, Rebraca, Kattash, Gentile, Koch, Middleton, Kutluay, Rogers, Papadopoulos, Becirovic, Tomasevic, Siskauskas, Pekovic, Lakovic, Vujanic, Chatzivrettas, Maljkovic, Spanoulis and many more to follow in the near future.
[Image: vspa.jpg]


Messages In This Thread
[No subject] - by Black Urum - 06-19-2007, 01:08 PM
[No subject] - by Black Urum - 06-19-2007, 01:10 PM
[No subject] - by Black Urum - 06-19-2007, 01:11 PM
[No subject] - by Black Urum - 06-19-2007, 01:13 PM
[No subject] - by Black Urum - 06-19-2007, 02:04 PM
[No subject] - by TalkBasket - 06-19-2007, 02:34 PM
[No subject] - by Black Urum - 06-21-2007, 11:28 PM

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