AS tough as the opposition may be in the Fiba World Cup in Spain, cage legend Robert Jaworski said anything is possible for Gilas Pilipinas so long as it plays together and plays with a lot of pride and heart.
Making a surprise appearance prior to Game Six of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series between his former team Ginebra and San Mig, the Olympian and Hall of Famer said he is hopeful that Gilas can defy the odds in Spain.
They Said It!
“ The commitment should be overwhelming because of the tougness of the competition." Philippine basketball great Robert Jaworski
“Those (Fiba World Cup opponents) guys are heftier, but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world," the former Ginebra playing-coach said. "We have to take the challenge and let the pride work again, the pride to represent the country, the pride that brings something respectable for your people, this is key.”
Pitting skills and talent possibly with NBA stars Manu Ginobili and Luis Scola of Argentina can be intimidating, but at the end of the day, Jaworski said it’s a matter of instilling the right philosophy and play with pride for the country.
“The idea is to go and win. You can only do that by first of all, understanding you have to work together considering this (basketball) is a team sport. The commitment should be overwhelming because of the tougness of the competition,” he said.
“It’s just putting the right philosophy and the pride that is important,” he added.
The Philippines has been bracketed in a tough Group B that includes 2002 Fiba world champion Argentina, Greece, Croatia, Puerto Rico and Senegal.
Gilas national coach Chot Reyes previously said that their goal is to win at least two games in the tough group to have safe passage to the next round.
Jaworski believes that the World Cup is a chance for Gilas to show the world what Philippine basketball is all about - that Filipinos won’t go down without a fight.
“Alam mo, may kasabihan nga, natalo kami, eh tingnan mo naman kalaban namin, ang lalakas. Pero yun naman ang importante dito eh, spreading the traits would generally make us come out with a better perception of what we are as a country and as a people,” he said.