MANILA – Filipino basketball legend Robert “Sonny” Jaworski hopes Gilas Pilipinas can duplicate the Philippine team’s success in 1973 when the country last hosted the FIBA Asia Championship.
Jaworski was part of the team that won 1973 title of the tournament, then known as the Asian Basketball Confederation (ABC) Championship.
“Sana maulit uli at ngayon na ang pinakamagandang pagkakataon na tanghalin tayong muli na hari ng basketball dito sa parteng ito ng mundo,” Jaworski told Philboxing’s Eddie Alinea.
The 1973 Philippine team was made up of Jaworski, Bogs Adornado, Jaime Mariano, team captain Rogelio “Tembong” Melencio, Francis Arnaiz, Ricardo “Joy” Cleofas, Alberto “Big Boy” Reynoso, Alberto “Abet” Guidaben, Ramon Fernandez, Rosalio Martirez, Manuel Paner, David Regullano, Gregorio “Joy” Dionsio and Larry Mumar.
The tournament is scheduled to return to Manila in August, 40 years after the Philippine team’s title win.
Jaworski said he hopes the Gilas squad will be just as successful as they were when they played at home turf.
“It will be the 1973 ABC championship all over again, hopefully,” he said.
This year's FIBA Asia Championship will serve as a qualifier for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain.