CHANGSHA, China – Getting caught in a furor such as the one Gilas Pilipinas found itself in late in a game against Kuwait is expected, more so in a tournament as big as the Fiba Asia Championship.
As the man in the eye of the storm puts it, competing in the meet that offers a berth to next year’s Olympics in Rio De Janeiro is like going to war in itself.
“Nasa giyera kami e. Ganun talaga ang mararanasan namin,” said Gilas forward Ranidel De Ocampo.
The veteran ‘stretch four’ found himself embroiled in a rough play against Kuwait’s Abdulaziz Alhamidi late in the national team’s 110-64 victory Friday night.
De Ocampo claimed Alhamidi had been dishing out one physical play after the other against his Gilas teammates including him, so much so he just returned the compliment to the tough-playing Kuwaiti.
And like a solid unit in the midst of war, De Ocampo said the rest of the Gilas team has talked together to stick with each other.
“Nag usap-usap kami na kahit na sa (team) hotel, sama-sama muna kami, sabay-sabay lahat dahil ngayon galit pa ‘yung kalaban,” he said. “Sabi nga ni Dray (Blatche), kahit anong mangyari, sama-sama kami lagi.”