SAMAHANG Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Manny V. Pangilinan broke his silence on Monday over Gilas Pilipinas' failed gold-medal campaign in the basketball competition of the 2014 Asian Games, saying he still takes pride in what the team has accomplished as it journeys through 'peaks and valleys.'
While he made it clear he was reporting Gilas' results in Korea with 'head bowed in sadness but not in shame,' the top businessman-sportsman refused to focus on the Asiad debacle where the team dropped matches to Iran, Qatar, and Korea and failed to reach the medal round.
Instead, he chose to look at the big picture as he expressed gratitude to coach Chot Reyes and Gilas for the highs of the past year, which included a runner-up finish in last year's Fiba Asia championships in Manila and a respectable showing in the Fiba World Cup in Spain.
"Quite a journey with its peaks and valleys; the road has been long and tough, the climb steep, the obstacles formidable from the get go," said Pangilinan in a statement.
“We report our results in Korea with heads bowed in sadness but not in shame. That said, we take pride in all that Gilas has reached thus far. We may have fallen short of what we all desired to gift to our people after years of desolation, but all of you persevered.
"Chot, to each and all of you my deep personal gratitude for what Gilas has accomplished - in Manila last year and in Spain and Korea this year."
Pangilinan also touched briefly on the pressure on Reyes, although he stopped short of giving a vote of confidence to the national coach amid a growing clamor for his resignation.
"Tough job, this coaching. Especially international. All the world's eyes on you, especially FIBA," he said in a tweet posted on his account @imMVP.
Nonetheless, Pangilinan enjoined fans to move on from the Asiad 'letdown' as he outlined Gilas' next goals, beginning with next year's Fiba Asia championships which will serve as the main qualifiers for the Rio Olympic Games.
"We must stay focused on our goal, and neither despair nor get deterred by the letdown in the Asian Games,” he said. "The Asian Games are done. Time to focus on the Fiba Asia next year in China, the winner qualifies for the 2016 Olympics."