It has been 2 years since the Samahan ng Basketbol sa Pilipinas (SBP) has formed Smart Gilas RP Senior's Basketball team and so far, in the short term, failed in achieving its goals of 1) win a major local or international tournament to earn respect in international circuit of basketball 2) winning the 2010 Asian Games Men's Basketball Competition or at least reaching the semifinals for a podium finish or at least a medal to take home. And although the penultimate goal is to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics via the 2011 FIBA Asia, SBP programme is a long way to go. If you are not a follower of this team let me discuss this in details below:
1. No major tournament won so far!
The closest the current Smart Gilas roster has reached so far is the semifinal finish in Dubai Basketball Tournament and the recent Stankovic Cup held recently in Lebanon. The team was an inspiration to watch during their Dubai stint, getting all the admirations from the organizers, fans and opposing team's coaches and players. What with the small ball played into perfection by our combinations of pure point guard and combo guard most notably the excellent perfomance by JV Casion which was later judged as the best point guard of the tournament. And they did it without Jamal Sampson, the team's former candidate for naturalization to take care of the Center position spot. But Smart Gilas bowed to Al Riyadi of Lebanon in the semis to go home in 3rd place by defeating Al Jalaa of Syria. The best finish of the team so far!
It is equally an inspiring performance a few months back in Lebanon. Due to Marcus Douthit and Greg Slaughter's unavailability owing to injuries, many times RP national Fil-Tongan Asi Taulava was called in to fill the Center position. Asi's excellent performance gave him a spot for the recently concluded Asian Games. Small ball system with Asi's energized performance gave us the semifinal appearance on this tough tournament but shorthanded in our goal to win or at least reach the finals.
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