It’s hard to write about a game such as last night’s due to the sheer variety and depth of emotions that come with its recollection. For the most part I was calm, primarily due to the fact I don’t buy in to the ‘laban’ and ‘puso’ shtick. My love for my country has nothing to do with basketball and even less on the outcome of a game. I love my country and (deserving) fellow Filipinos, and I’m pretty much sure the the players of Gilas do as well. This is default and non – negotiable, so the idea of it indirectly being questioned every time I read ‘puso’, as if to say we do not have heart if we do not win offends me. If we lose a game we may not be as skilled, as tall, as fluid or whatever, but it’s certainly not because we lack heart. If anything we might have too much heart. Let’s talk basketball tangibles – shooting, assists, defense, and the like. But don’t talk to me about not having heart. Never ever doubt heart.
They play like a bunch of hacked together talents – Which means they are either under coached or have just not had enough time to play together. They do not have any plays and rely mostly on exploiting match ups. Failing that it’s basically excursions by their best player, whoever that may be at the time, which explains why their point guard will occasionally be scoring. This will work in the short term primarily because our PGs are far too small to defend anyone properly, but as with any coach will tell you a driving point guard is a recipe for disaster because it leaves their team open for transition.
The most telling sign of their lack of cooperation is their inability to help their best player get an open shot. At the latter part of the game when they needed points most, Jarvis Hayes was their man. Unfortunately the rest of the Qatar team didn’t seem to see it that way and wouldn’t help him out. There were no diversions, no sets or picks made for him and he had to deal with the long arms of Gabe Norwood or sometimes even multiple defenders, a tall order for any scorer.