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PHL basketball team routs Kazakhstan, NBA's Clarkson in

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By EDDIE G. ALINEA | Sports Editor & Columnist



MANILA – A team willing and determined to bring honors to the country and the Filipinos carries the Philippines’ red, white and blue colors in basketball hostilities of the  18th Asian Games in Indonesia.


This was what head coach Roseller Yeng Guiao thinks of the Gilas Pilipinas lineup he finalized in just three days and this was proven with its initial game when it routed Kazakhstan.      


The Nationals are made up of Maverick Ahanmisi, Raymond Almazan, Beau Belga, Chris Tiu, Gabe Norwood, James Yap, all of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters; Magnolia Hotshots' Paul Lee, Christian Standhardinger of the San Miguel Beermen; GlobalPort Batang Pier's Stanley Pringle, Poy Erram of the Blackwater Elite, NLEX Road Warriors' Asi Taulava.


Fil-American Jordan Clarkson of the Cleveland Cavaliers rounded up the roster after a reversal of decision by the National Basketball Association. The NBA earlier did not issue the greenlight for Clarkson to play but changed its mind and allowed him to play for the Philippine team.


“I’m happy to have this team,” Guiao told the Philippines Today USA/PhilAmPress team in an interview hours before the team’s departure from Manila to Indonesia.


“Happy, because in so short a time of one week, we were able to assemble this group of young boys ready to sacrifice for flag country knowing that under normal circumstances they won’t be able to make it as members of the national team.”   


“And they’re happy, too, we, in the coaching staff know. Alam nila maigsi lamang ang panahon ng ensayo a kahit anong ipagawa namin, ginawa nila,  walang reklamo. Isinisigaw nga nila habang nag-e-ensayo, para sa bayan ito,” Guiao disclosed.


“First and foremost, they love the country. They love the sport at alam nilang naatasan lang sila dahil sa pangyayaring di naman  nilakasalanan, they’re willing to do everything to save Philippine basketball,” Guiao reasoned out.   


“Never say die itong mga batang ito with due respect to newly-crowned PBA Commissioner’s Cup champion Baragay Ginebra,” he added chuckling. “Patay kung patay, sabi nga natin.”


“In fairness, this team is not short talents. I won’t even say that we lack the needed time to prepare,” he temperamental bench tactician assessed.


“Malakas ang team. We have shooters from outside. We have slashers, rebounders, speed to run our game. We have a little of everything, these boys are all pros na marurunong maglaro,” he explained.


“Imagine Asi, 45 years-old na yan, rume-rebound na tumatakbo pa at sumi-syut pa from three-point area.”


“Paano ka naman hindi mautwaa sa mgax nagawa ng mga batang ito?” Guiao asked. “Ang maipangangako lang namin sa ating mga kababayan ay ito: Maglalaro kami sa Asian Games at hind kami gagawa ng mga bagay na mapapahiya ang ating bayan."


“Matatalo kami, given yan. But we will be coming back home na nakataas an ulo naming. Maaring wala kaming madalang medalya, bu what we will be bringing home ay karangalan para sa bansang Piipinas at sa salitang Pilipino,” Guiao vowed.  


Gilas Pilipinas, playing with just 11 men as Filipino American NBA player Jordan Clarkson only arrived at the GBK Basketball Hall in Jakarta late into the third quarter of its match, blasted an ice-cold Kazakhstan squad, 96-59, at the start of their respective campaigns in the Asian Games men's basketball competition on Thursday, August 16.


Gilas banked on a hot start as Kazakhstan could not make its field goals early on, only making one of 14 attempts in just the first quarter.


Kazakhstan began getting its groove in the third quarter, but Gilas had already secured a huge lead enough for the team to hold on until the end.


In his homecoming of sorts, Stanley Pringle, who played for the Indonesia Warriors in the ABL, tallied 18 points, four rebounds, two assists, and one steal in his first game for Gilas in the 5-on-5 setting.


Chris Standhardinger chipped in 15 points, four rebounds, and one steal.


James Yap added 12 points, six rebounds, one steal, and one block, while Paul Lee poured in 10 points all in the fourth quarter.


Anton Bykov led Kazakhstan with 13 points, five rebounds, and one assist. 


Box Scores:

Philippines 96 - Pringle 18, Standhardinger 15, Yap 12, Lee 10, Tiu 9, Norwood 7, Almazan 6, Erram 5, Belga 5, Taulava 5, Ahanmisi 4

Kazakhstan 59 - Bykov 13, Gavrilov 9, Yergali 8, Zhigulin 7, Bazhin 6, Chsherbak 6, Kuanov 6, Marchuk 2, Maidekin 2, Yagodkin 0, Satkeyev 0

Quarterscores: 16-9, 41-20, 61-43, 96-59


In the last edition of the quadrennial meet in 2014, the national squad finished with a 3-4 record to salvage the seventh spot.


The Philippines has captured four gold medals in the men's basketball of the regional tournament (1951, 1954, 1958, 1962).


The Filipinos will play in Group D together with Kazakhstan and China.


The 2018 Asian Games will run from August 18 to September 2.


It's down to the last stretch for the Philippine men's basketball team in their preparations for the Asian games. The main agenda tonight: The final lineup of players who will represent the country in Indonesia. 


PH men's basketball head coach Yeng Guiao says the players can perform decently in the Asian games despite the short notice and subsequent limited preparation time.


FIBA ranking: 30 Steady

Joined FIBA: 1936

FIBA zone: FIBA Asia

National federation: Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas

Coach: Chot Reyes

Nickname(s): Gilas Pilipinas


Olympic Games

Appearances: 7

Medals: None


FIBA World Cup

Appearances: 5

Medals: Bronze (1954)


Asian Championships

Appearances: 27

Medals: Gold medal (1960, 1963, 1967, 1973, 1985), Silver (1965, 1971, 2013, 2015), Bronze medal (1969)


Asian Games

Appearances: 16

Medals: Gold medal (1951, 1954, 1958, 1962), Silver medal (1990), bronze medal (1986, 1998)


First international

Philippines W-L China (Manila, Philippines; February 1, 1913)

Biggest win: Philippines 184–40 North Yemen (New Delhi, India; November 22, 1982)

Biggest defeat: Philippines 53–121 United States (Melbourne, Australia; November 26, 1956)


Medal record

FIBA Basketball World Cup 0 0 1
FIBA Asia Championship/Cup 5 4 1
FIBA Asia Cup/Challenge 0 0 1
Asian Games 4 1 2
SEABA Championship 8 1 0
SEABA Cup  2 0 0
Southeast Asian Games  17 2 0
Far Eastern Championship Games 9 1 0
TOTAL 45 9 5


The Philippines men's national basketball team (Filipino: Pambansang koponan ng basketbol ng Pilipinas) is managed by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (Basketball Federation of the Philippines or simply SBP). 

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