WHEN Gilas Pilipinas guard Jayson Castro went for a three-pointer in the final seconds of a gripping Fiba World Cup game against Argentina on Tuesday, the Philippines had the chance to pull off a feat it has not done in over half a century.
Beat Argentina, that is.
Yes, you read it right. The Philippines has beaten Argentina before in the world basketball scene, and it happened 66 years to the day Gilas fell just short of repeating the feat, 81-85, when Castro committed a double-touch violation while going for the go-ahead three-pointer in the team's final possession.
The Philippines pulled off the upset over Argentina, 45-43, in the 1948 London Olympics with a team bannered by legends like Lauro Mumar, Francisco Vestil, Eddie Decena, Andy Dela Cruz ,Eduardo Fulgencio, Primitivo Martinez, Gabriel and Felicisimo Fajardo.
That win by the Philippine Islands was considered a monumental upset at that time, considering the South American basketball power won the inaugural World Basketball Championships just two years later in 1950.
The 1948 Philippine squad is also best remembered as the first team to go beyond the century mark in an international game when they demolished Iraq 102-30, behind the 20 points of Ramoncito Campos.
At 89 years old, Campos dubbed 'The Adding Machine,' is the only surviving member of the 1948 Olympic basketball team that placed 12th in a field of 23.
Korea, which to this day is one of the country's firecest rivals in Asia, finished in eighth.
Well, 66 years is quite a long wait, and here's hoping we won't have to wait far too long before getting another shot at ending the Argentina hex.