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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Philippine Basketball Can Go Big

While the lack of size has been touted as a perennial problem for the Philippine basketball team in international competitions, the current atmosphere is not as troubling as it was......if only all sectors unite. Doing an inventory of our current assets, i.e. active basketball players, one can see that there is enough size that can make us competitive at the international level. While in the past many of the taller basketball players available are not as skilled as the smaller guys in their positions, it is a different story nowadays, with taller guys now learning how to use their size advantage against smaller guys to the hilt.

While it is a positive that the Smart Gilas Pilipinas defied all odds and negated superior size advantage to win the 34th William Jones Cup basketball tournament, it exposed the glaring fact that the Philippine basketball team badly lacked size down low, relying too heavily on Marcus Douthit who played with almost no relief. This is a sad fact considering that we have other assets we could have tapped for the gargantuan tasks ahead: 6'9" Junmar Fajardo, 7'0" Gregory William Slaughter, 6'9" Christian Stardhandinger, and 6'9" Japeth Aguilar. Fajardo and Slaughter are career bigs with solid potential for further development and who both have considerable international experience while Stardhandinger and Aguilar are lanky power forwards who can slide to the small forward spot and both also have solid international experience.

The wing and point guard rotations have not been a glaring problem for the Philippine basketball team and yet will benefit from the emergence of taller wingmen and point guards. 6'5" Gabe Norwood, 6'4" Matt Rosser, 6'0" Solomon Mercado, 6'6" Chris Ellis, 6'4" Jeffrei Chan, 6'5" Jared Dillinger, 6'1" Jayjay Helterbrand, 6'7" Kelly Williams, 6'6" Jay Washington, 6'6" Keith Jensen, 6'4" Rayray Parks among many others are taller than the usual wing and point players.

There's nothing wrong with celebrating the 2012 Jones Cup win. More importantly though, there were valuable insights Philippine basketball should have gained from the experience. It is also important to note that the national teams from the other countries did not play at full strength. We did not too, and therefore we cannot settle for that exact same team to compete in higher level competitions such as the FIBA Asia Championships. We need a team that is at the very least more competitive down low.

Right now, as we have so far illustrated, the greatest challenges that the Philippine basketball team has to handle is not the lack of size. However, to get all stakeholders involved, to get teams to loan their players to the national cause, is thus far the biggest stumbling block to an optimal solution of bringing back Philippine basketball to international respectability. 

1 comment:

Philippines Flights said...

Basket Ball very famous game in Philippines, specially among the youngsters between the age of people 20 to 30 years. Philippine basket ball are among the top Asian basket ball teams. A lot of competitions held each year in Philippines of basket ball...