Why not …..

The dismal showing of the RP-Smart Gilas in the recent FIBA-Asia Champions Cup causes alarm among diehard Filipino basketball fans including me. I’m a bit worried especially that the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China is just six months away. Assessing the team’s performances in the competitions it joined since its inception, it seems that the team has not reached the competitive level yet. In 2009 FIBA-Asia Champions Cup, the Gilas finished 5th. In last January’s Dubai International Basketball Tournament, the team settled for third place, the best it could finish. The worst was in the just concluded club competitions in Doha, Qatar where it ended at 7th place.

At this point in time, I think Smart Gilas needs to evaluate and make sound decisions. Why not:

  1. Naturalize Milan Vucicevic as a Filipino – Milan may not be monster in the court but he is reportedly well-liked by the team because of his work ethic and winning attitude. He may not be perfect for the role but his commitment is far more important than sheer talent.
  2. Let Kelly Williams play the small forward position – The inclusion of Williams in the team is a matter of formality. There’s no doubt ‘K-Will’ plays basketball better than anyone else in the country today at 3 or 4 spot. I think it’s much better to have him in the ‘3’ spot so as not to give up much in height as he is only 6-foot-6.
  3. Naturalize one more foreigner standing at least 6-foot-11 – Though Vucicevic is a rational choice, he has had problems matching up with 7-foot guys. The way I see it, Gilas needs somebody who can impose intimidation in the shaded lane. Since only one naturalized player is allowed, the team may choose between Vucicevic and another big man come the competition proper. At least the team has the option either of the two.

I understand that the SBP people are far more knowledgeable in the sport than the screaming fans. But the pressing conditions of the team needs a thorough review and reassessment. Why not lend an ear to them?

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