TOO bad the late Filipino basketball icon Kurt Bachmann wasn’t around to see Gilas Pilipinas’ gut-wrenching performances in the Fiba World Cup.
Bachmann’s son, current Alaska team manager Dickie, said his father would have been proud to see the Filipinos slug it out against the new world powers.
“He would have been very proud and happy to see the Philippine team back in the World Championships,” Bachmann told Spin.ph on Sunday. “He would have enjoyed watching the game.”
Gilas Pilipinas came up with a huge debut game, battling the Croatians before bowing, 78-81, in overtime, then came up with another fine performance in a 70-82 loss to Greece.
A day before Gilas officially put the Philippines back on the world basketball map, Kurt Bachmann, a legendary figure in the international arena during his time, passed away due to a lingering illness. He was 78.
Considered the tallest Filipino during his era at 6-foot-5, Bachmann was a vital cog of the national men’s squad that placed eighth in the 1959 world championships in Chile and 11th in the 1960 Rome Olympics.
But Bachmann made the game-winning shot in the preliminary round of the 1960 Rome Olympics that allowed the Philippines to score an epic 84-82 victory over Spain.
Bachmann, nicknamed “Mr. Hookshot”, also played an integral role in the Philippines’ last two Asian Games men’s basketball championships in 1958 in Tokyo, Japan, and 1962 in Jakarta, Indonesia.