On the eve of the start of your campaign to win back the crown that has been lost to us for decades, I know I am but one among our people of basketball loving folks; at home or like us, scattered all over the world who wish you well.
I have on more than one occasion, decried the fact that we have never truly fielded our strongest contingent due to the fact that corporate greed rules Philippine Basketball. Oh i know i am not the only one who feels that James Yap, Arwind Santos, and the other stalwarts from SMC companies would be great for Gilas, if only they were allowed to suit up and don the national colors. but you know what? fuck that.
I feel that the team chemistry you have developed, how each and every member of the team wholeheartedly bought into the system implemented by the coaches at the expense of benching their egos are more effective tools than having more star power added to the line up. And if other players can’t stand up to their employers and say, i want to play for my country, contracts and corporate rivalries be damned, then they have no right to wear a jersey with PILIPINAS proudly emblazoned on the front as you guys do.
Gilas, we all know that you understand the pressure you are under, the expectations of a nation antsy for a crown to call theirs again, something that, corny as it sounds would uplift heavy hearts and restore vigor to tired limbs. a world weary view brought about by poverty, corruption, and all the social ills our country faces on a daily basis. Other nations would scoff at the idea that winning a basketball crown can truly change a people’s attitude and perspective, but we are Filipinos, we take what little hope we can and celebrate every victory, big or small because they come so few and far between.
Even if i have never been a fan of LA tenorio though i have always been a ginebra die hard, i shall cheer him on as lustily as i can as i watch the games thru what i’m pretty sure would be commercial loaded bad video streaming. yes i will applaud every, if any hustle play of Japeth Aguilar even if i think he is an overrated diva. I will shout out SAKURAGI! every time Marc Pingris stops the opponent’s best scorer. I will drink a shot for every shot that Larry Fonacier makes even if he was on the Ateneo team that eliminated ronald tubid and UE in the semifinals of UAAP season 65 on that last second Jec Chia shot en route to the championship. my neighbors will be left utterly flabbergasted as to why i will be shouting myself hoarse and cheering as loud as i can for Jeff Chan, jayson castro, norwood, fajardo, Alapag and every other gilas player. As i’m sure every basketball crazy Filipino will.
Gilas, i can go on and on, but know this. a nation thanks you for all the sacrifice and effort you put in, yes, Beau Belga, you too! i am now a fan of Mr. Extra Rice. Gilas, we may not be able to Play the game for you or with you, but we shall carry you through, win or lose, on the strength of our prayers and support, as you carry us proudly on the front of your jerseys.
Mabuhay Gilas Pilipinas!
Photo originally from interaksyon.com