Inspiration & Sports

Bringing Back RP’s Basketball Glory Days Is A Tall Order


Caloy Loyzaga doing some ball tricks. Considered the "Great Difference" because of the way he can make a difference in a basketball game when he's inside the court.

The result of the ongoing South East Asia Basketball Association (SEABA) men’s championships in Medan, Indonesia is a no-brainer.

In fact, I consider the presence of an all-pro Powerade Team Pilipinas’ presence there, an over kill because which among the Southeast Asian neighbors of the Philippines could beat our national team?

With veterans like Asi Taulava, Mick Pennisi, James Yap, Kerby Raymundo and Willie Miller leading the way, there’s no way RP coach Yeng Guiao could go wrong in trying to win the four games they’ll be playing there. And I’m pretty sure the winning margin wouldn’t be less than 25 points per game.

Anyway, with the SEABA crown expected to go to the Philippines by the end of June 10, I’m more interested on how the national team will fair against Asia’s best come the 25th FIBA Asia Men’s basketball championships in Tianjin, China this August.

Of course, the memory of the 2007 performance remains fresh in the minds of some of the PBA players there. Guys like Tayulava, Pennisi, James Yap, Kerby Raymundo and Fil-Am Gabe Norwood were part of that team that couldn’t get past the so-called “Group of Death” where the Philippines was bunched with eventual champion Iran, China and Jordan.

The Philippines failed to land even in the top five of the FIBA-Asia men’s tournament even though millions of pesos had been poured out during that year for their training.

Anyway, that’s another bitter pill to swallow for the basketball bigwigs, who I believe, are trying their very best to bring back the glory days of the Philippines beginning with this latest RP team edition handled by multi-titled PBA coach Yeng Guiao.

Ahh, I hope that in my lifetime, I’d be able to see the Philippine team celebrating its Asian Games, FIBA-Asia Men’s championship and Olympics triumphs.

All I had were basically clippings and some past articles I wrote about RP’s legendary players, who were members of the different national teams that dominated the basketball playing field in Asia during the 1960s.

I remembered what the great Filipino basketball legend Carlos “Great Difference” Loyzaga was telling me when I was still a budding sports writer for the Manila Times 11 years ago.

“No one could really beat us during our time. And we were all passionate in playing for the country, even though there was no allowance. Our pride was to hear the Philippine national anthem played after the competition, which means we would win the basketball title in Asia,” said Loyzaga, a member of the Mythical First Team in the 1954 World Championship held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Hopefully, we’d be able to see a new breed of Filipino basketball players who’ll be as dedicated and as passionate as Loyzaga in playing for our country.


3 Responses to “Bringing Back RP’s Basketball Glory Days Is A Tall Order”

  1. In my opinion, dapat siguro may continuity ang system ng national team natin para magbunga ang pagod at hirap natin. for the past years kasi paiba iba tayo ng coaching staff. even the USA consistently has 1 head coach. si coach K. I also firmly believe that at this point, we should seek help from a foreign coach who knows about world basketball. Im definitely speaking about Rajko Toroman here. He knows Iran, China mainly because he worked there. And besides maganda ang pinakita ng rp deveopmental team natin not just becaus magaling sina barocca, dahil na din yun sa magaling na mentor nila. I’m not against coach yeng pero sana wag na niya pairalin ang pride niya. Unahin sana niya ang bansa natin kesa sa ego niya. Toroman could be a great help sa scouting. He’s a serbian legend for a reason. And sa mga kapwa nating pinoy na di naniniwala na di natin kaya, tigilan na natin ang pagiging talangka. Kaya natin noon, dapat kayanin natin ngaun. Walang imposible sa taong passionate and hardworking. Mr. Caloy Loyzaga, sana ma meet ko kayo. I would say thank you. Idol ko kayo. Pinakita niyo na kaya natin. Sana makuha ng mga players natin ang attitude niyo. Bansa muna bago sarili.

    • Hi lynius, thanks for that insightful comment you had about basketball. i do share your sentiments regarding basketball in the Philippines. for a long, long time, we’ve been the favorite whipping boys of Asian countries like China, South Korea, Japan and now fast rising Middle East countries like Iran, UAE, etc. One thing we need tio get rid of as we try to progress in our quest for world respectability and eventually, Olympic prominence is corruption. get rid of that, then let the national basketball governing body be led by sincere, God-fearing leaders, we’d eventually see the Philippines bounce back and be the Asian kingpin once again in the sport.

  2. my bold prediction in this coming fiba asia.rp-powerade team will land either 6th or 5th place.suwerte na lang kung makapasok sa 4th at sobra-sobrang suwerte kung makapasok sa top 3 world qualifying.Realistic opinion at prediction lang po base po sa preparation na ginagawa ng pba backed rp team..lack of scouting to the opposing teams like korea and japan(ang problem if they don’t send yung totoong line-up? collegiate team ng japan nung 2007 jones cup beat pba players)..second lack of chemistry at di agad makapag jell yung mga players sa team.third injury prone and health is concern.paano kung ma-injury at magkasakit yung mga important players like japeth aguilar sino ipapalit sa kanya(dapat wag cyang masyadong gamitin sa jones cup).di ako coach at team manager pero kailangan ng contingency plans.Skills,fighting spirit,faith at luck ang magpapanalo sa powerade team.Ito ang challenge sa mga fil-ams to prove their worth and sincere love for the country.Pero don’t worry kaya nila taulava,raymundo at yap makipagbasagan ng mukha kay orimo at sakuragi.japanese nt nag struggle sa amatuer nt na smart gilas even w/o cj giles kayang talunin ng gilas ang japan nt what more ang powerade na puro pba di kayang kaya i masaker ang japan at korea.Pero pwede pa ring magbago ang laro at ang kapalaran sa fiba asia.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: