MANILA — Malacañang is hopeful that the country’s Gilas Pilipinas basketball team could still qualify in the round of 16 in the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Seville, Spain.
“Patuloy nating suportahan ang kampanya ng koponang Gilas Pilipinas sa 2014 FIBA World Cup Basketball Championship. Tunay na kahanga-hanga ang ipinapakitang husay at tapang ng mga manlalarong Pilipino bagamat ang kalaban nila ay higit na malaki at matangkad na mga manlalaro,” said Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. during the daily press briefing on Tuesday.
Coloma said he believes that Gilas Pilipinas’ performance has been impressive despite its three straight losses under Group B.
In its first game against Croatia, the Philippine team lost during overtime, 81 – 78. In the second game, Greece defeated the team, 82 – 70, while in game 3, Gilas lost to Argentina, 85 – 81.
In Group B, the Philippines (ranked 34 by FIBA) and Puerto Rico (ranked 17th) now share the bottom of the bracket, each having three losses.
Greece (ranked 5th) is in the lead with three wins, followed by Argentina (3rd), Croatia (16th) and Senegal (41st), all three sharing the second spot with 2 wins and 1 loss.
The Philippines has waited four decades to reenter the FIBA World Cup competition.
“Kapag nagwagi ang Gilas Pilipinas sa kanilang huling dalawang laro, may pag-asa ang pangkat nating mabilang sa apat na koponan mula sa Group B na magtutunggali sa susunod na bahagi ng kompetisyon — ang Round of 16, na susundan ng Quarter-finals, Semi-finals, at Finals sa paraang knockout o direct elimination,” Coloma said.
He added that with the impressive performance of Gilas Pilipinas, hopes are still high.
“Hindi naman kahiya-hiya ang performance natin…siguro para sa aking mga kapwa basketball fans dito sasang-ayon kayo sa assessment na marami tayong dahilan para mag-cheer sa Gilas Pilipinas,” Coloma said.