Though 19th seed in the FIBA 3×3 category, Gilas Pilipinas continues to amaze and inspire Filipinos everywhere. Four of Gilas Pilipinas’ best players took on the responsibility to battle it out at the Philippine Arena for the FIBA 3×3 World Cup 2018, happening from June 8 to 12.
Stanley Pringle Jr., Roger Ray Pogoy, Troy Rosario, and Christian Standhardinger represent Team Philippines, facing Russia, Brazil, Mongolia, and Canada in Pool C of the tournament. That said, here are the reasons why we think Gilas will perform well in this competition.
1. 3×3 is our typical larong kalye
The three-on-three basketball format is no strange game to Filipinos. Look at every city, barangay, and random street in the Philippines and you’ll understand. Larong kalye or streetball is the most popular version of basketball among Filipinos, even honing some of the best players in the professional league. Pinoy ballers don’t need expensive shoes or jerseys to play well, but a tough mentality and strong disposition is enough to keep them going.
2. It is best for slashers
The game is simpler and quicker in FIBA 3×3, which makes it best for slashers or penetrators like Pringle. He led Gilas against Brazil, showcasing a series of layups and teardrop shots that left sixth-seeded Brazilians out of breath from trying to defend Stan the Man.
3. Height plays little part in 3×3
Playing against taller opponents in 3×3 is not a problem for Gilas Pilipinas. Only playing half-court with one hoop, speed and agility put Gilas on advantage. Small forward Pogoy made back-to-back outside shots for Gilas, putting the Philippines ahead of Brazil. However, it’s still a big help with Standhardinger (standing 6’8″) on the court, as he defended the basket from attempted dunks and inside attacks.
4. Home court advantage
The tournament is set at the Philippine Arena, which makes it easier for Filipino fans to come and cheer for our national team. No doubt, a big Filipino crowd is enough to keep Gilas inspired and encouraged to win their games.
When you say Gilas Pilipinas, puso always comes right after. Because even though Gilas comes outmatched by taller players and more experienced teams, their unrivaled love for the game is enough for battle. Gilas Pilipinas, unlike any other team, showcases a different kind of heart in every basketball duel—one of bravery, tenacity, and heroism.
So even though we’re currently standing on a 1-1 win-loss record (with a win over Brazil 15-7, and a loss against Mongolia 21-17) after Day 2 of FIBA 3×3, just hang in there, continue cheering from the top of your lungs and let Gilas Pilipinas show you the Filipino’s heart is stronger than one defeat.
Featured image by Rio Leonelle Deluvio