- Gilas point guard urges more unity in next FIBA Asia
- Local sports politics must spare Gilas Pilipinas
- Key players should be allowed to join national team
MANILA, Philippines – Following their sobering loss to China in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship, Gilas point guard Jayson Castro believes the Asian giant can definitely be beaten in the future if the country’s key players band together.
“We know that we can beat them, and they know that,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted him as saying. “I just hope that we all unite, it is a common goal after all, for the next FIBA Asia.
While ‘praising’ the Chinese for using everything in their arsenal—including the referees—to overwhelm the Filipinos, Castro said he was nevertheless proud of the his team’s achievement.
“Let’s admit it, they’re really big and they used their advantage well, even using the referees,” he said. “We are so proud of what we have achieved here. It’s not bad for a team that has been together for just two months and even without some of the players that we need.”
Among the players who could have provided a lift to the team and were originally included in Coach Tab Baldwin’s wish list were Gilas veterans June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel Beer, Barangay Ginebra’s LA Tenorio, Rain or Shine’s Paul Lee and Jeff Chan.
Fajardo and Tenorio cited health reasons for not joining while Rain or Shine management reportedly did not allow Lee and Chan to participate.
Other than the PBA players, LA Lakers Jordan Clarkson was also supposed to join the team but a conflict of schedule with the NBA prevented him from playing in the FIBA tourney.
However, Clarkson posted a message on his social media account promising to play for the team next year to avenge Gilas’ loss to China.