Alapag: We showed that we belong here

By Dennis Gasgonia,

Posted at Sep 02 2014 10:27 AM | Updated as of Sep 03 2014 01:28 AM

Philippines' guard Jimmy Alapag gets ready to shoot a basket during the 2014 FIBA World basketball championships Group B match vs Greece. Photo by Pierre-Philippe Marcou, Agence France-Presse

SEVILLE, Spain -- Jimmy Alapag is mighty proud of having played against Argentina, especially as Gilas Pilipinas lost by only a four-point margin against the No. 3 team in the world.

Alapag's near seamless three-point shooting nearly knocked down the Argentina squad especially after he connected a long jumper that cut the deficit to 81-83 just two minutes remaining before regulation.

In the end, he registered five triples for a total of 15 points.

"I've been been playing this game for a long time and you know it takes you back to those time when you're a kid and practicing at home and in the local gym... you're practicing for moments like tonight," the team skipper told

"There are very rare times that we're given an opportunity to play against a team like Argentina."

But Alapag said his teammates also stepped up big time, especially with Andray Blatche having some trouble with his knee.

Ranidel De Ocampo top-scored for the nationals with 18 points, while Blatche managed to score 14.

For Alapag, what is important is that they were able to show that they can hang with the best teams in the world.

"It's a once in a lifetime to play against the No. 3 in the world and it's a game I thought we fought every step of the way the game of basketball that's all you can ask for," said Alapag.

"Before this tournament started, we want to give ourselve the chance to stick around which we still do. But I think most of if it is we want to get respect from the world. We deserve to be here."