FIBA WORLD CUP: Jawo reminds Gilas players to just think of 'Pilipinas'

Philip Matel on Nov 28, 2018 03:06 PM
Jawo reminds Gilas players to just think of 'Pilipinas'
In a lunch affair along with 11 other past members of the Philippine men's national basketball team, who represented the tricolors in the Olympics and/or the FIBA World Championships.

Former Senator and Olympian Robert Jaworski reminded members of the Gilas pool that they are playing for flag and country, not for themselves.

Jaworski attended a lunch affair along with 11 other past members of the Philippine men's national basketball team, who represented the tricolors in the Olympics and/or the FIBA World Championships.

The Philippines has participated in the Olympics from the inaugural event in the 1936 Berlin Games up until the 1972 Munich Games. 

Gilas meanwhile last apperared in the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain, where they were eliminated after the first round.

Under the leadership of the greatest Filipino cager ever, Caloy "The Big Difference" Loyzaga, the country finished third at the 1954 FIBA World Championships, the highest-ever from an Asian nation. 

Among those in attendance for the lunch were Antonio Genato, Loyzaga's son Chito, Kurt Bachmann's son Dickie, Ed Roque, Arturo Valenzona, Jimmy Mariano, Marte Samson, Manny Paner, and Moying Martelino.

"Just think of the word 'Pilipinas'. Yun po ang importante. Kahit saan po kayo maglaro noong araw, malilimutan po yan eh. Pag nag-represent kayo sa Pilipinas, that would be a legacy," the 1978 PBA MVP said to the attendees of the lunch. 

"Don't think of your last name. Don't even think of the company. Just think of Pilipinas. The real idea of what this is all about."

Jaworski, who retired in 1997 after a long and illustrious career, stressed that the Filipinos should go back to basics if they want to beat the two teams.

"They should work on basic basketball foundations, which is boxing out. Because the guys are taller. And they've got to focus on free shots because you only need one point to win. So you got to take your time there. You have ten seconds, and many of the other small things," shared Jaworski.

The lunch was suggested by Gilas coach Yeng Guiao to serve as a debt of gratitude to those who have served the country in the hardwood for the past half century.

Gilas faces Kazakhstan on Nov. 30 and Iran on Dec. 3, which Guiao stresses as the games 'that will really matter'. 


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