I need to finish a major paper due tomorrow morning, but I can’t help but share to all of you this very proud moment in our country’s basketball history. The Philippines has made it to the semifinals of the FIBA Asian championships for the first time in 24 years (I’m only 21!).
I have always been a proud supporter of the Philippine national basketball team since the 2002 Busan Asian Games, and I personally felt very bad seeing our team’s heartbreaking losses in the past to teams like South Korea, Kazakhstan, and others. Now, the country is just two wins away from making it to the 2012 London Olympics. Maybe decades of frustration will finally be over. Maybe, the time for vindication has come. Smart Gilas all the way! Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!
Philippines advances to FIBA semis
MANILA, Philippines – Smart-Gilas Pilipinas defeated Chinese-Taipei in the quarterfinals of the ongoing FIBA Asia Championship, 95-78.
Naturalized Filipino Marcus Douthit led Gilas with 37 points.
Ranidel de Ocampo and Marcio Lassiter chipped in with 18 and 13 points, respectively.
Gilas led by 3 points at halftime before breaking away in the third quarter, leading as much as 15 points.
In the final quarter, Gilas had the biggest lead of the game at 19 points before Taipei made a final push in the last few minutes of the game.
Taipei came as close as 7 points before Gilas put them away for good in the final 2 minutes.
The win sent Gilas to a semi-finals match against Jordan.
The Philippine team defeated Jordan, 72-64, earlier in the tournament.
Jordan made it to the semi-finals by ousting defending champion Iran with an 88-84 victory.
The last time a Philippine team made it to the semis in the FIBA Asia Championship was in 1987.