FORMER NBA star Stephon Marbury has one piece of advice to Gilas Pilipinas ahead of the Fiba-World Cup in Spain – anybody can win over anybody.
He knows whereof he speaks.
Marbury, afterall, played for the NBA stars-studded USA Team in the 2004 Athens Olympics, where the Americans settled for the bronze medal after losing to Manu Ginobili and Argentina in the semifinals, 89-81.
The streak-shooting guard described his Olympic experience as “one of the worst he’s had in his basketball career,” stressing the team’s loss in the semis 10 years ago, is a huge reminder that “anybody can win over anybody” especially in an international tournament.
“They (Gilas Pilipinas) always have a chance because you start by playing zero-zero, so anybody can win over anybody and that’s been proven and shown, like myself playing in the Olympics, losing to Argentina,” Marbury told Spin.ph on Saturday after launch his “Jersey for A Cause” at the Heroes Cafe in Bonifacio High Street.
Marbury said he’s well aware the Philippine national team is already preparing for the world basketball championship and the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
But he believes that by playing together for a long time now, Gilas is capable of pulling off an upset in its bracket.
“I’ve watched the Filipino league (PBA) and they (players) have the swagger. They play with swagger, and that’s one of the things that I like when I speak with my friends in America,” he said.
“They know how to play. They can do the things that people like to see and when they go with the right mind frame, prepare themselves the proper way, they just give it everything, then, I think they have a chance (to win games in the World Cup),” added the 37-year-old Marbury, who recently led the Beijing Ducks to their second Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) title in the last three seasons.
Now in his fourth Manila visit, Marbury will be involved in a shoe-giving project with local agent Sheryl Reyes at the Tondo National High School through his Starbury shoe line.