FIBA: Not playing world no. 2 Spain “humbles” Gilas Pilipinas
Paul Lintag on Aug 18, 2019 05:39 AM
“I think it was a great experience. It was humbling. We actually wanted to go out and play Spain. I think everybody was anticipating that,” forward Gabe Norwood said. (Photo by Richard Esguerra)
Gilas Pilipinas has powerhouse Serbia in its group for the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China.
The national team matching up with world no. 2 Spain would have been the perfect way for Gilas to prepare against the Serbians.
Gilas had the chance to play the Spanish national team at the latter’s home floor in the Torneo de Malaga but instead, the Philippines took a disappointing loss to Congo that spoiled the possible showdown.
Still, missing out on an actual game against Spain gave Gilas a great lesson to go by as they continue to prepare for the World Cup.
“I think it was a great experience. It was humbling. We actually wanted to go out and play Spain. I think everybody was anticipating that,” forward Gabe Norwood said.
“But at the end of the day, those were growing the pains we had to get through. We wanna go through them earlier than later moving forward. I think it was positive all in all,” he added.
Gilas Pilipinas definitely wanted to play Spain, it’s not everyday you get the opportunity to measure yourself against the second-ranked team in the world.
However, playing four games against Congo and Ivory Coast still gave the national team the idea of the competition they’ll play in China.
Italy, Serbia, and Angolia, just like Congo and Ivory Coast, will be superior to Gilas in terms of size and speed.
How to counter those disadvantages is the key for the national team.
“It hurts, naturally. Just out of the excitement, pure excitement. We wanted to compete against the best, and we put ourselves in a situation where that didn't happen,” Norwood said on missing out against Spain.
“But Congo and Ivory Coast both posed great opponents. Great teams, athletic, and it's something we're gonna see whether it's Angola or Italy or Serbia. They're all gonna be bigger, faster and probably stronger than us as well. At the end of the day, I think we learned a lot,” he added.
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