Extension anyone?

just today, the rain started to pour and so were sweat from brows.

team Pilpinas suffered a woeful fourth quarter and eventually succumb to Jordan’s sniping and crashing, 84-76 at the closing of preliminary rounds of FIBA Asia Championships at the Atsy Gym in Tokushima Japan.

A 14-5 run was released by Jordan during the fourth quarter which saw the hopes of the Philippines securing a ticket to the 2008 beijing Olympics evaporate into thin air.

Caguioa’s teardrop wont fall, Alapag’s three’s wont kiss smack the net. Seigle is on the bench still watching his teammates.

can you accept playing for the ninth place when Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea and Jordan are in Group II playing for the semis. and group I is composed of Iran, Lebanon, Qatar and Chinese Taipei. san mo ilulugar sarili mo knowing you can reclaim such place in Asia’s hardwood. DAMN IT!!!

I cant fault nobody. I mean everything was different from the onslaught. Consolation? We beat team China B. err? The world of amateur basketball was really awry especially in this kind of tournaments sanctioned no less than by FIBA and unknown referee’s. From teh rules, ref’s temper, defense, motion offense, the arsenal, the height. and with five months of preparation, hilaw pa rin tayo though we are labeled as within Top 5 ng Asia.

now we need to review things. san ba tayo nagkamali o ano pang kailangan nating gawin. does the program stays or ihihinto ulit natin ito? should we review rules by PBA that allows that amateur setting sinkin into players skins? should we change the flow of our schedules so as to have our national team stay intact? should we agressively pursue players and have a pool that can be sent into competitions any given time?

or should we let basketball go and focus on other sports kung san mas may tsansa tayong manalo ng gold sa Olympics?

baguhin na kaya yung three point line, nang mas maging bihasa ang players sa three? ibalik ang rules! ahahah.

i dont make sense.

ang gusto ko lang makita is for us to dominate Asia once more kasi di na tayo pang-SEA. We could play others, we could challenge China and everyone else.

Stick to the program.

change the rules, schedules.

play amateur. play FIBA basketball.

agressive recruitment!

support pa.

here are Quinito Henson’s thoughts on our Olympic Debacle (go IDOL) :

What went wrong
SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin M. Henson

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The country’s dream of playing basketball in the Olympics after an absence of over 30 years has turned into a nightmare. Beijing is now out of the question for the Philippine team, which failed to advance to the quarterfinals of the still ongoing FIBA-Asia Championships in Tokushima.
Only the Tokushima winner will join China, as host nation, in the 12-team Olympic basketball competition. The runner-up and third placer will be invited to participate in the pre-Olympic world qualifiers for three wildcard entries in July next year.

There are so many what-ifs to think about in analyzing what went wrong in the Philippines’ crusade.

What if Greek referee Nikolaos Zavlanos didn’t call that technical foul on the Philippines with 57 seconds left and Iran up by only a point?

What if the Philippines got lucky in the draw and went to Indonesia’s bracket with Qatar, Kazakhstan and India instead?

What if James Yap made it to the final 12?

What if the Philippines had more time to practice and not crammed because of the late lifting of the FIBA suspension?

What if Danny Seigle and Kerby Raymundo, nursing injuries, played 100 percent against Jordan?

What if the PBA used FIBA rules to familiarize the national cagers with the international game and break their habit of playing the NBA style of one-on-one?
What if the Philippines recruited a naturalized player like Jordan’s Rasheim Wright, Lebanon’s Joe Vogel and Japan’s J. R. Henderson?

If only the Philippines beat Iran, the team would now be playing in the quarterfinals and not battling for ninth place. The Iran heartbreaker destroyed the country’s Olympic dream, more than the loss to Jordan.

The team’s most glaring weakness was in offense as the Philippines shot a dismal .400 from the field in the first three games. Of the 16 teams in Tokushima, only Kuwait turned in a lower field goal percentage at .331. On the upside, the Philippines ranked second to top-notcher Chinese-Taipei in free throw marksmanship at .722.

It wasn’t that the Philippines had limited open looks or took poor shots. The players just couldn’t find the pulse to hit consistently, whether from up close or the perimeter. Who can forget those point-blank misses under the basket against Iran and the wide open shots that clanged from mid-range?

The players were too tense, too pressured to hit the shots they normally convert. They were burned out, victims of an exhausting conditioning program that was crammed to fit limited schedules. They never enjoyed themselves on the court – the tension was too unnerving.
When Jordan began knocking down threes in the third period, the defenders were often a step slow in challenging shots. Their legs were gone. They were dog-tired and lacked the energy to chase the outside shooters. Jordan opened the fourth period with an 8-0 blast that stretched a three-point lead to 11. The Philippines never came closer than seven and wound up losing by eight.

The reasons why the Philippines isn’t playing in the quarterfinals are:

Burnout. Coach Chot Reyes’ cagers couldn’t play with consistent high energy for three straight days. They were exhausted. The pressure was overwhelming and took away the fun in the game. It showed in the way the players bungled easy shots, couldn’t assert themselves defensively to force turnovers and allowed transition baskets. They rarely broke out for uncontested buckets.

Unfamiliarity. The players had difficulty adjusting to FIBA rules where a technical foul, for instance, has a penalty of two free throws and possession, a sense of urgency is dictated by 10-minute quarters and four team fouls mean penalty situation.

Absence. Because of a long layoff from FIBA competitions due to the country’s suspension, the PBA stars were shown little respect by league officials and referees. Zavlanos’ call in the Iran game is proof. The Philippines was disqualified from playing in the last Asian and Southeast Asian Games and the previous FIBA-Asia Championships. It was a rough re-initiation for the Philippines.

Mentality. Habits are hard to break and with their backs against the wall, the national cagers played instinctively, doing what they’re used to in the PBA. They resorted to going one-on-one, dribbling too much and playing to their individual talents instead of as a team.
Draw. Bracketed in the “Group of Death” was a killer blow because unlike the other teams that are used to the international game, the Philippines had little time to familiarize. It was a war for the Philippines from Day 1 and the attrition factor took a heavy toll on the squad.
With the Olympic dream extinguished, the Samahang Basketbol Ng Pilipinas must now do some serious soul-searching to determine what to do next in planning for future international competitions.

Is the Philippines’ love affair with basketball doomed to an unhappy ending like Romeo and Juliet?

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