MANILA – The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) is picking up the lessons they learned from the shocking defeat of Gilas Pilipinas in the Hanoi Southeast Asian Games last May as they march on towards the FIBA World Cup 2023.
During the Philippine Sportswriters Association forum on Tuesday, SBP executive director Sonny Barrios said that his biggest realizations from the silver-medal finish of Gilas was the rapid improvement of our neighboring countries in basketball.
“To me personally, the biggest lesson is we cannot just say that we will dominate the tournament. The opposition obviously, they have improved by leaps and bounds, as the results of the games showed,” he told reporters.
Gilas failed to defend the men’s basketball title in the biennial meet -- the first time since 1989 that the Philippines did not win the gold, ending a run of 13 consecutive championships in the SEA Games.
The Gilas Pilipinas men's team stumbled at the last hurdle in the finals, bowing to Indonesia, 85-81, to settle for the silver medal.
According to Barrios, the national team should pay more attention in scouting the opposition moving forward.
“Hindi na ganoon ka pichi-pichi 'yung kalaban..Ngayon 'yung mga kalaban natin sa men's kailangan pagtuunan ng pansin. The value of scouting opposition is also a lesson learned,” he said.
As the country prepares to host the much anticipated FIBA World Cup in August next year, basketball-crazy Filipinos are eagerly waiting for the lineup of Gilas in the biggest stage.
Barrios assured the public that forming the official roster is one of the most important aspects they are working on.
“The composition of our team, fielding the best that we can, is always of utmost importance para 'yung cohesion and preparing for extended period of time mas maganda. Mas matagal, mas maganda,” Barrios admitted.
However, he declined to give an exact description of what the Philippine team would look like for the World Cup but revealed that they have been reaching out to local amateur and professional leagues in the country to help in forming the best possible Gilas team.
Barrios said they have talked with the UAAP, NCAA, and PBA for their support for the country’s bid next year.
“We are reaching out to the major stakeholders. We are being inclusive in approaching this monumental task of fielding the so-called best of the best. 'Yung combination, masyadong maaga pa para masabi ko sa inyo,” he said.
The Philippines is co-hosting the FIBA World Cup in August to September 2023, along with Japan and Indonesia.