Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Manny V. Pangilinan is not giving up on the Smart Gilas Olympic dream.
The RP five, a squad made up mostly of former collegiate standouts, finished a mere sixth in the Guangzhou Asian Games men’s basketball competition—matching the country’s 1966 Bangkok performance, its lowest finish in the Asiad.
“What I can promise is we will try our best to qualify to the Olympics,” said Pangilinan yesterday in the PSA Forum.
“I don’t want to lose hope.”
Health is a top concern on forming a competitive Smart Gilas team.
“We were quite unlucky,” said Pangilinan, referring to injuries that struck power forward Japeth Aguilar (knee) and guard Sol Mercado (feet) during the Asiad.
“We’ll sit down with coach (Rajko) Toroman and examine what went wrong and what went right as well. We’ll try to improve our chances,” added Pangilinan.
The 6-foot-9 Aguilar missed the entire action due to a partial tear on the ligament of his right knee.