FIBA: Gilas Pilipinas finally has respect it deserves ahead of second straight World Cup appearance
Paul Lintag on Aug 30, 2019 02:35 PM
"Nung una parang di nila sineseryoso yung Pilipinas, parang easy-easy lang sila satin," Paul Lee said. "Pero after that  World Cup, di na pwedeng easy-easy lang to." (Photo by Arvin Lim)
Gilas Pilipinas has earned well-deserved respect in the FIBA World Cup.
The Philippines is making a second straight appearance in the World Championships with the national team opening group play Saturday against Italy in the Chinese city of Foshan.
Unlike Gilas' 2014 appearance in the World Cup, opponents are now giving the Filipino players the respect they deserve on court.
Guard Paul Lee, who played for the Philippines in the 2014 FIBA World Cup and will play again in the 2019 edition, says that the national team didn't exactly get that much respect on the world stage five years ago.
"Nung una parang di nila sineseryoso yung Pilipinas, parang easy-easy lang sila satin," Lee said.
"Pero after that  World Cup, di na pwedeng easy-easy lang to," he added.
Getting the respect they finally deserve is nice, it proves that Gilas Pilipinas has proven time and again that they belong in the world stage.
That also means that the national team can no longer sneak up on opponents like they used to. But while they can't pull out the surprise card in this World Cup, the goal remains the same for Gilas: Win.
"Yun din yung isang mabigat dun, sinabi rin ni Gabe na kumbaga wala na kaming ganung bala na pang-gulat. Kailangan yung focus namin nandoon, kasi for sure paghahandaan na kami," Lee said.
"Yung ibang team talaga naka-tingin na rin satin. Gawin lang namin lahat to get two wins," he added.
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