FINALLY we're taking the bull by the horn. Thanks to my long time friend, SBP Pres Al Panlilio, he has thrown the first blow asking for everyone's support and consideration for the sake of our basketball loving Filipinos.
It's about time. True, this FIBA World CUP next year won't be here for another lifetime and we'll only waste it if we become the laughing stock of our own sports loving people here by fielding this experimental UAAP/NCAA selection.
First, we lost by 25 pts to New Zealand, then 46 pts in the second game, and recently, adding Erram and Parks, we lost again by 20 or more points.
This column has been harping time and again to stop this mediocrity before our own country men who fully well know we can fight the best in the world with the real national team players. We proved it in Seville, Spain, several years ago when we shocked the FIBA hierarchy by almost pulling the rug under Puerto Rico and Argentina with Ginobili and company.
This is the national team our people want and it's time for the PBA teams to help the SBP. Is the PBA more important than our national interest? MVP has spent billions to give us this long awaited international games only to be slaughtered in our own home grown? Oh c'mon.
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Let's hear it for the country, Guys. Just imagine what's been happening lately in the FIBA Asia Cup elims. China finally lost to South Korea led by a Lebron James-look alike in the center lane. Then we also lost to Japan.
What's another message? Big guy Kouame won't do Guys. He's not even effective against UP. What more with the NBA star studded teams coming here.
We're lucky we still have some time for a change. Stop thinking and pushing for the "future" of this game. Every other country has their own developmental program too. Time to get the best in the land. Fajardo, Tenorio, Ross, Lassiter, Pogoy, Springle, Wright, Ramos, Thompson, Clarkson, Standhardinger, Abueva, Aguilar, and one big import.
This is the kind of team our people want. And led by Tim Cone with assistants Baldwin, Robinson, Austria, who's never been given a chance in spite of so many titles won in the PBA, and Reyes. I'm pretty sure the PBA team owners would love to see the REAL team and cheer in the sidelines.
Led by their Chairman Ricky Vargas, who also happens to be the best friend of Al P. How's that for finding a solution.
Or else, I really sympathize with my friend MVP who has spent so much time going to Europe so many times meeting with FIBA all these years, just to have this rare chance of a lifetime to bring the World Cup here.
Plus the billions he's spent to make it happen. Don't wait for Malacañang to step in. We can have all the PBA conferences we want after the rare Cup is finished. With MVP, Ricky V, Al P and Ramon Ang at the helm, nothing is impossible. Let's give our people a fair shake.
They deserve better, Guys. Personal pride or business rivalry doesn't have a place here. Bayan muna. Thanks Al for taking the first step of a thousand miles. Btw, I was also in Seville when we shouted, "Taas noo kahit Kanino. Ako ay Filipino."