FOR one of the pillars of the last Philippine squad to win the Asian championship, the Smart Gilas side that will vie for the same title in August on home soil should be a team made up on the right players - not necessarily all stars.
“Hindi kailangang lahat sikat. Kailangang selection," said William 'Bogs' Adornado, a many-time national player and three-time PBA MVP. "Dapat may role player ka. May taga-depensa lang, taga rebound lang. Parang sinigang yan, hindi lahat puro isda, dapat may sangkap ka.
"Iba ang All-Stars sa national team."
The Bicolano icon said it was the same formula for success followed by the Tito Eduque-coached team that won the championship in Manila in 1973, where the recognized stars were Robert Jaworski, Mon Fernandez, Francis Arnaiz, Abet Guidaben and lefty gunner Jimmy Mariano.
But Adornado said that team also had role players that soon became stars after the team's success, among them Dave Regullano, Manny Paner, Alberto 'Big Boy' Reynoso, Joy Cleofas, Yoyong Martirez, and Tembong Melencio.
“Talagang role players lang namin sila nun, sumikat sila kasi nag champion yung team and eventually naging superstars na rin,” added Adornado, who is one of 25 PBA greatest players.
"Pag puro stars kasi, kulang ang isang bola."
The five-time PBA scoring champion also had this piece of advice to the players who will wear the national colors when the country hosts the Asian showpiece, a qualifier for the 2014 world championships in Spain, for the first time since that momentous title romp 40 years ago.
“Dapat pag naglaro ka para sa bansa mo, give it your all. Hindi pwedeng iisipin mo na, ‘Naku, baka ma-injure ako, paano ang kabuhayan ko.' Mali yun. Kasi kung maaksidente ka, kahit sa bahay pwede kang ma-injure,” he said.
When told that national coach Chot Reyes has a hard time forming the team he wants, Adornado didn't hide his disappointment.
“Ha? Eh bakit ganun? Bakit wala pa?” said Adornado, who bared that their 1973 team was formed a good eight months before the December 1-15 event at the Big Dome.
“Kami nun eight months, tapos talagang full time ang training namin. Halos araw-araw. Everybody has to sacrifice, everybody has to contribute. Hindi nga dapat part-time ang national team eh.”