It's supposed to read "Gilas 5.0". But with the "5" supplanting the "S" the wordmark aptly describes the recent state of our Gilas Pilipinas.
It seems we're back—again—to zero.
Didn't we start the basketball rebirth not too long ago? After the dust of topsy-turvy basketball affairs in the Philippines had settled down, a new day dawned for PH hoops. Our hopes were up for Gilas 1. Then Gilas 2.0 finally got us back almost on top of Asian supremacy and eventually reintroduced Pinoy brand of basketball to the global stage. Gilas 3 over-achieved (almost but not quite)! While Gilas 4.0 was ambitious.
Now here comes Gilas 5.0 which feels more like the "Gila5.0" wordmark in the picture above. For some reasons they refused to call the team "Gilas Cadets" or "Quasi-Gilas". Why not "Gilas Taym Pers". Ahh, whatever, these bunch of Filipinos no matter what will represent the country to the #FibaAsiaChallenge. If we look at the composition of the 24-man pool, man it's automatic: Daaamn, they're scary!
Naah, not our lineup though. It's the composition of the opposition that are scary considering how inexperienced our boys are when they face-off in Tehran.
Why can't we just have the pros again? Aren't they not the best ballers in the country? Anyway, the PBA isn't in a very pristine condition as it used to be. Why not take a short break and make way for this FIBA competition? Of course, the "B" in the PBA means business, nuffsaid.
The Gilas program perhaps has come full circle and the truth is, it is like basketball with ONLY four quarters each game. With each quarter called Gilas 1, then 2, 3 and finally the 4th. Now they can't go back naming this team "Gilas 1.0" again. So as not to call it "Gilas OT" (which will definitely undermine the "naming-powers" of Quinito Henson if and when they do so) ergo, the number "5" has to be invented.
(Hey, are you still there? We know. It's garbage time!)
Now to sound more significant, let's look at the FIBA Asia Challenge as a good springboard or a jump-off for our rebooted Gilas program. They say, let's temper our expectations. We're not coming here to trash Iran by 50 points. Or shoot 30 treys in a game against Japan. No we're not coming here to make it to the medal rounds. Indeed it's so GILA5.0. Even the head coach for this batch is a certified greenhorn. Aside from the fact that he shares the same genes with the first Filipino coach to win a Jones Cup title, the man in charge isn't yet a decorated international tactician. Not even sure if his belt is tuck with a Barangay Liga championship.
However, this gathering strikes some sort of a bittersweet closure event. For one last time, all hoop nations in Asia gather together exclusively. Because this tournament will eventually determine the process of qualifiers for the next big tournament that will gather not just the best of Asia but this time with the teams from the FIBA Oceania.
Bogut who? Fotu what? Delly? Adams from Genesis, seriously? Mills, what's that a bread company?
(Yes, admit it, it's THEM we're facing regularly next time; you may breathe now.)
How do you feel about the current state of our Gilas program? We have promising talents coming up. There's AJ Edu. Kobe Paras. Clarkson we hope gets to play as a local pretty soon. How about some towers in the pipeline in the likes of Sotto, Kirkness, and a lot more. Perhaps we need to delay our gratification. Aaah, here we go again, waiting. But sometimes we can't help but...
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