Gilas 3.0 gives hope to a strong "Gilastopainters" run in Asian Games
Paul Lintag on Aug 13, 2018 02:29 PM
"We’ve been in this situation in 2015, when nobody expected us to get a silver medal with coach Tab. And you know, having Gabe, having some of the veterans mixed in with the young guys, it’s gonna be great. We just gotta go out there and work," --- Asi Taulava.
The Philippines is no stranger to sending a ragtag team to major international competitions.
The last time we did it was three years ago and that team almost won a gold medal. That fact gives the "Gilastopainters" hope for the upcoming Asian Games in Indonesia later this week.
While Gilas 3.0 was amazing in its own right, the truth of the matter is that the Philippines could have certainly done better.
But still, the Tab Baldwin-coached national team came one win short of the 2016 Olympics after it won silver in the 2015 FIBA-Asia Championships, eventually losing to host China in the Final.
Center Asia Taulava, who was part of the 2015 squad and is again part of the 2018 Asian Games team, points to their run three years ago as something that this current group can replicate in Indonesia for the Asiad.
"I know people don’t expect much from us cause the team’s been formed eight days before the tournament, but we’re gonna go out and compete," Taulava said.
"We’ve been in this situation in 2015, when nobody expected us to get a silver medal with coach Tab. And you know, having Gabe, having some of the veterans mixed in with the young guys, it’s gonna be great. We just gotta go out there and work," he added.
The general consensus when it comes to the goals and expectations for the 2018 Asian Games team is rather simple: finish better than 7th place.
A loaded Gilas Pilipinas crashed and burned four years ago in South Korea and placed 7th. In 2018, anything better than that seems like a win but for the Gilastopainters, they're not just fighting to win 6th place or better.
Obiously, they want something more.
"Everybody’s saying 7th place. We’re not even thinking about that, we want a medal. Only reason why we all say yes to playing for the national team, it’s not just trying to be better 7th place. Nobody wants that. You know, our ultimate goal is always gold medal, we’re not settling for 7th place," Asi said.
"We gotta remember we’re representing the country. We’re not just going there to represent ourselves. We’re asking our fans to please support us throughout this journey that we’re gonna be on. It’s gonna be tough, but it’s very doable," Taulava added.
Gilas will make its debut in the Asian Games on Thursday, August 16, against Kazakhstan.
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