Calma: Gilas Pilipinas needs strong start vs Greece

By Dennis Gasgonia,

Posted at Aug 31 2014 11:05 PM | Updated as of Sep 01 2014 07:05 AM

Hector Calma poses with fans in Seville, Spain. Photo by Dennis Gasgonia,

SEVILLE, Spain -- Former Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) point guard Hector Calma thinks Gilas Pilipinas needs a strong opening when they battle Greece early Monday morning at the FIBA World Cup of Basketball in Spain.

Calma, best known for his playmaking days with San Miguel Beer in the mid 80's to early 90's, will be joining the Filipino crowd at the Palacio Municipal de Deportes San Pablo to watch the nationals duking it out against the "Hellas."

"We'll have just to work hard from the start, siguro defense, hopefully manalo tayo," he told

Calma noticed that Gilas fell behind against Croatia in the opening quarter and they had to play catch up in the next three periods.

The Filipinos eventually caught up with the Croats in the fourth period, and forced the game into overtime.

Croatia, however, took advantange of Gilas' foul troubles and won through the free throw line, 81-78.

"Maganda ang pinakita ng team natin kagabi considering na malaki ang kalaban nila na team," said Calma. "Muntik na tayong manalo."

"Siguro yung start natin kahapon, hindi maganda, we're stuck in 4 points, tagal nating 'di naka-score. Siguro we need to limit the turnovers."

Calma, known in his playing days as "The Director," was part of the Philippine team that competed in the 1990 and 1994 Asian Games.

They came close to winning the gold in 1990, but fell short against China, 74-90.