FIBA WORLD CUP: San Miguel boys are best thing going for Gilas this early
Paul Lintag on Nov 20, 2018 03:21 PM
Monday during Gilas' first practice game against Jordan in preparation for the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, the Philippines found themselves down by 12 early. An then coach Yeng sent the Beermen in and the San Miguel boys immediately went to work.
For the longest time, many have called for San Miguel players to be included in Gilas Pilipinas.
As the Beermen established yet another PBA dynasty, winning six conference titles since 2015, the clamor for them to be included in the national team has intensified.
With the "Best Philippine Team ever" era under coach Yeng Guiao officially underway, the Beermen are finally in Gilas Pilipinas full force and their first run with the national team is already full of promise.
Monday during Gilas' first practice game against Jordan in preparation for the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, the Philippines found themselves down by 12 early.
An then coach Yeng sent the Beermen in and the San Miguel boys immediately went to work.
Christian Standhardinger, Marcio Lassiter, Alex Cabagnot, and Arwind Santos, led a blistering 15-0 run bridging the first and second quarters to allow Gilas take over.
In an eventual six-point loss, that run by the Beermen was, without a doubt, the best thing that happened for the national team.
"You see it's obvious when you look out there," Standhardinger, the latest star added to the San Miguel dynasty, said of the Beermen connection on court.
"How I play with Marcio, how I play with Alex, and also Arwind fed me like two great balls today. The connection is there," he added.
Arwind, the oldest of the San Miguel bunch at 37 years old, says he was clueless about the fact that he shared significant Gilas court time with his Beermen brothers.
However, while the moment got lost through the course of the game, Santos likes the fact that San Miguel's vaunted chemistry is carrying through in international play.
"Samahang walang katulad" indeed.
However, Santos is not quite satisfied just yet.
"Depende yan eh, kung maganda ba yung resulta o nagpa-panalo yung Pilipinas, maganda yung combination," he said.
"Pero kung talo, pangit ang feedback sa San Miguel nun kahit papaano. So sana makuha natin yung goal natin, habang may natitira pa kaming oras," he added.
The foundation for winning has been established for Gilas Pilipinas this early.
The play of the Beermen has been a great part of that. Even those who are not members of San Miguel are seeing it.
Rain or Shine's Beau Belga joined the San Miguel boys Monday against Jordan in the second unit. Four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo was out because he ran sets with the starting line-up.
Beau liked what he experienced and it's an early microscopic look at what Gilas Pilipinas is trying to achieve with its new unified talent pool.
"Gusto ko nga lumipat sa San Miguel eh, ang sarap pala," Belga joked.
"Pero hindi ano, yun nga, masarap kasama yung mga taong familiar na sa isa't-isa. Kasabay ko yung apat, parang ang dali ng buhay sa akin," he added.
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