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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Who cares about the Gilas national team?

Joey Maceda - 7:49 AM
Who cares about the Gilas national team? By Recah TrinidadPhilBoxing.comTue, 18 Aug 2015 WHEN Carlos Loyzaga injured his left hand playing softball on the side, the greatest Filipino basketball player ever had to be scratched from the Philippine national basketball team preparing for the 1960 Rome Olympics. There was this little-known story of how Loyzaga had begged national coach Arturo Rius to reconsider and take him back into the national squad. Loyzaga was said to have knelt before the national coach in tears. Rius supposedly told the emotionally drained national team mainstay he could be reconsidered once the doctor clears him. If the doctor says your left wrist is fine, you can report back for training tomorrow, Rius reportedly assured Loyzaga. ** Theres this story of bigman June Mar Fajardo suffering from a bad foot, the reason he had to beg off from the national training pool being prepared by coach Tad Baldwin. There seemed nothing nasty or suspicious there; although it was suddenly reported the other day Fajardo now suffers from two painful feet. By the way, after Fajardo, easily the best big man in the national pool, left the squad, three other national team shoo-ins from the powerful San Miguel Corporation outfit pulled one after the other from the Gilas Pilipinas team. ** As noted here earlier, the separate alibis submitted by Mark Pingris, LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar were doubtful, abnormal, if not wholly odd. In Pingris case, he did return from Paris where he had a reparation meeting with his French father. Pingris next made it known he would be ready and available for Gilas Pilipinas, a decision that lent joy to the coach, members and backers of the national squad. ** Then, in a stunning turn-around, Pingris officially begged off from the national team last Saturday. Pingris also took time out to swear he had always wanted to serve in the national team, but some things are beyond our control. There naturally was outrage as the national basketball community was left to wonder what honestly was the matter, and who was to blame for the national team mess. ** There had been shallow efforts to mask the foulness. But with the latest developments, theres no hiding the fact that the national team mess was caused mainly by politics. Would it have helped if, say, the powerful outfit that had contributed the main stars during the Gilas Pilipinas stint in the Fiba Asia series in Manila and the subsequent World Cup in Spain got deserved mention or a piece of the credit? The brutal truth may never be told in the open. But in the case of Fajardo, the lurking treachery did surface ahead after it became clear he was already out of the Gilas national squad even before his alleged injuries could be checked or, hopefully, remedied. 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