In basketball, the Philippines has been a big fish in the little pond of Southeast Asia for decades. We could send a second-tier college team to the SEA Games and win the gold medal, to the constant frustration of Thailand and Malaysia. In the early days of the game, the first half of the 20th century to be more precise, we were untouched in the whole of Asia.
The Philippine national basketball team, led by coach Chot Reyes, departs this morning for Miami to start training camp for the FIBA World Cup in Spain on Aug. 30-Sept. 14, leaving behind the nightmarish memory of the aborted “Last HOME Stand” that would’ve been a rousing send-off for Gilas with NBA players at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
For everything that PLDT chairman/SBP president Manny V. Pangilinan has done to uplift the standards of Philippine sports, particularly basketball through the Gilas national team, he certainly didn’t deserve the tragic ending of the “Last HOME Stand” at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last Tuesday night.