we may not possess the height, but we surely have the pedigree.
The Philippines were once the Basketball Kings of Asia. They were merely invincible - untouchable as one would say. The class that the past Philippine Teams showed during the Pre and Post-World War 2 Era was simply at par with the world's best. However, from the glory days came the horrors of Philippine basketball. The dreams of regaining the great philippine dream was soon lost after the NCC grassroots basketball program by no less than Coach Ron Jacobs - spearheaded then by Mr. Danding Cojuangco under the Marcos regime was left out in the bitter cold. The downfall of the Marcos Administration also saw the NCC program crumbling down in the dust. It could have been rebuilt but nobody cared - then the BAP era. The BAP program was meant to represent the Philippines as a basketball darkhorse in asia but to no avail. Since BAP stepped in the seen - the RP national teams seemed to be fed into lion's den. It looked like the BAP just wanted to represent the Philippines for the sake of participation and not the worthy RP basketball team as a whole.
Good thing there was the PBA. The PBA sports the finest Pro talent in the realms of RP basketball - the best in Asia, yet the best they can offer was a short stint to the Asian games. The ABC and the Olympic qualifying tournaments were never represented by the PBA in the past. So to say, almost every team sent to the international meets other than the Asian games were complete humiliation to the RP NT reputation. Imagine underrated college teams and ball clubs representing the Philippine tri-colors against the best of Asia. The PBA never promised to represent the Philippines in any competition other than the Asian Games. Yet after lessons were learned in the most unforgettable of all upsets in the Busan Asian Games, the PBA wants no less than vindication - a stint in the ABC, Asian games and the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments.
Here starts our story. Pilipinas was once the most decorated of all Asian nations in the land of basketball. A mighty powerhouse in the Olympics and the World basketball. Then the Asian dark horse lost its' glory. NCC tried to redeem it. After the NCC breakdown, BAP was at the helm - then it was nightmare. The PBA has finally stepped in the seen - but only in the Asiad. After this was the giant sokor letdown. Now we have a PBA powered Philippine Team vent on regaining lost glory - not in the Asian scope - but the Olympics and World Basketball. Surely it is a great day for all Filipinos - until BAP again ruined everything the PBA has prepared for. FIBA suspended the Philippines because of the dispute between POC (the superior sports body) and the BAP, and directly shut down a shot by the RP team for the Olympic dream. With the best talent around and the most well-prepared training in the history of PBA this is the biggest disappointment for all the Filipino fans around the world. We Filipinos cannot let this happen. Be the PBFI (the new formed basketball body) be approved or not, the BAP deserves to be suspended, not the PBA-RP team. The Philippine PBA-RP Team is still at par with the best of Asia and it deserves to be included in the international tournaments. In lieu to this, the Filipino fans around the world converge and unite to support the campaign of the PBA-Philippines in regaining the lost glory of the basketball dynamo of Asia.
RP NT STINTS
The Philippines has won the Asian Basketball Championship five times ('60,'63,'67,'73,'86). The Junior (Under-19) Philippine team has won the Asian Junior Championships six times ('70-'78,'82). The Philippines' has won the Asian Games Gold four times ('51,'54,'58,'62). The best finish by a Philippine Team and any Asian Team in the World Championships is a Bronze Medal in 1954. The Philippines has won the biennial Southeast Asian Games Gold Medal 10 times since 1977 (Philippines beat Malaysia 96-86 in the 1997 SEA Games in Jakarta).
The recent best finish by a Philippine Team in the Asian Games is a Silver Medal in the 1990 Asian Games and a Bronze Medal finish in the 1998 Asiad. The Philippine Junior Men's Team last medal finish was with a bronze in the 1992 Asian Junior Men's Championships. The Philippine (Under-22) National Men's Team's best finish was fourth in the 1993 (Under-22) Asian Championships.
The PBA sends a "Dream Team" during the Asian Games. The PBL sends the Asian Championship squad. The PBA was only allowed to send teams internationally after 1990. All Philippine squads, except the Asian Games Team, are amateurs. The Philippine sports community has seen mismanagement by the ruling BAP as it has perennially sent disorganized teams to the SEA Games and the ABCs. The PBA and the other leagues together with different NSAs should press for the replacement of the BAP from FIBA for the good of the country. Though at present, RP is suspended by FIBA for the BAP-POC dispute, the newly formed PBF (Philippine Basketball Federation) should hopefully help bring back the lost glory of the RP Team.
ABC CHAMPIONS' CUP
The ABC Champions Cup symbolizes the best Club team in the Asian Continent. The Philippine Representative, mainly PBL teams, has won the Cup four times. The Champions Cup began in 1981 and was held every two years until 1995. Northern Consolidated, a PBA Guest Amateur Squad, won in 1984; Swift-PABL won in 1988; Andok's-PBL won in 1995; and in 1996 the Cup was won by Hapee Toothpaste
RP probably owns the records for establishing the biggest lead in an international basketball game.
The Philippine team registered what could be the world's biggest lead in an international basketball game when it massacred Brunei Darussalam, 160-19, at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium on July 2, 2000. The 141-point lead could be the biggest for any Pinoy team since the americans introduced basketball in the Philippines. During the game, the RP team limited the Brunei squad to only 19 points. It later won the SEABA young men's tournament crown against Malaysia.
The Philippines played one of the first game of Olympic basketball against Mexico during the 1936 Olympics.
Philippines' fifth place finish in the 1936 Berlin Olympics still marked as the highest finish by any Asian nation in the history of the summer games in Basketball.
In addition, back in the 1954 World Championships in Rio De Janeiro, the Philippines placed third overall (bronze medal) behind the USA and Brazil. This result is also the highest by any Asian nation.
FILIPINAS FIRST PLAYED BASKETBALL?
There are historical accounts that Filipino women first played basketball, which was introduced by the Americans in the country. It was said that Filipino men considered basketball as a game for girls only.
JABBAR BORROWED BACHMANN'S HOOK SHOT?
Kurt Bachmann Jr., a Filipino basketball player who had a German father, reportedly impressed Kareem Abdul Jabbar in an exhibition match between the US and the Philippines in 1954. Jabbar, who was known as Lew Alcindor then, reportedly borrowed Bachmann's hook shot.
PHILIPPINES - ONCE A GLOBAL BASKETBALL SUPERPOWER?
Basketball was introduced to the Philippines in 1901, by members of the American YMCA. The Philippine Amateur Basketball League was established in 1910. After that, basketball became a nationally popular sport in the Pearl of the Orient Seas.
What many people didn't know or even heard of is that the Philippines was truly one of the global superpowers in international cage hoops in the past - if not the most powerful during its' prime.
In the 1936 Berlin Olympiad where the RP Team placed fifth, Philippines defeated Mexico 32-30 in the second round and toppled Estonia 39-22 in the third round. In the classification round of the same tourney, the Filipinos defeated the highly touted powerhouse Italy 32-14, and romped past Uruguay 33-23. Curiously, the Philippine delegation never made it to the Medal round (due to a controversial ruling) although it had not lost to any team except to the United States with the score of 56-23. The Philippine Team was ably led by Ambrosio Padilla (team captain), who later became a senator; the 6'1" Charles Borck, Jacinto Ciria Cruz, Primitivo Martinez, Jesus Marzan, Franco Marquicias, Fortunato Yambao, Amador Obondo, Bibjano Quano and Johnny Worrel. Also, the same games were played in a lawn tennis court (which was terribly hampered by a bad rainy weather), and the awards were given by no less than Dr. James Naismith.
During the 1948 London Olympics the Philippines landed a 12th place finish. The RP team was bracketed to Group B in the eliminations and posted a win-loss record of 3-2. The Filipinos massacred Iraq 102-30, marched past Korea 35-33, and stomped down on China 51-32. It lost its' elimination assignments to Chile 68-39, and was upset by Belgium 37-35. The Philippines figured in a five-way tie in the elimination round and was ejected from the medal-round because of the point system implemented. In the classification round (non-medal competition), Philippines defeated the recent Olympic champions Argentina with a 45-43 score but bowed down to Belgium 38-34 and Peru 40-29.
The Philippines was tied for 9th place overall in the 1952 Olympiad. The Filipinos found themselves in Group B in the preliminary round with 2-0 win-loss record by blasting Israel 54-47 and Hungary 48-35. The Pinoys advanced to the main tournament and showed its' might against Canada 81-65, but eventually lost to Argentina 85-59 and Brazil 71-52.
The 1956 Melbourne Olympics saw the Philippines bracketed in Group A in the Elimination round and made a 2-1 win-loss performance to land in 7th place over-all. They defeated Thailand 55-44 and Japan 76-61, but horribly succumbed to USA with a dismal 121-53. In the quarterfinals, the Philippines defeated France with a 65-58 beating but bowed again to the physically playing Uruguay 79-70 and Chile 88-69. In the non-medal round, the Philippines took a sweet revenge to Chile 75-68, but stumbled down to Bulgaria 80-70.
An 11th place finish was the best the Philippines can offer in the 1960 Rome Olympics. In the eliminations, the Filipinos were bracketed to Group D and made a 1-2 win-loss record by defeating Spain 84-82, but lost to Poland 86-68 and Uruguay 80-76. In the classification round, the Pinoys posted a 2-1 win-loss slate by beating down Puerto Rico 82-80 and Bulgaria 2-0 (forfeited), and fell to Hungary 81-70. In the second classification round, the Philippines handily pounded their way through Mexico 65-64 but lost to France 122-75.
In the 1954 World Basketball Championships in Brazil, the Philippines staged the greatest mark in the history of the basketball-crazed nation, by taking the Bronze Medal in a show of power. Overall, the Philippines posted a 5-2 win-loss record and fell behind eventual champions USA and silver medalists Brazil - the hometown favorite. The USA had the biggest scare in the tournament when they faced squarely with the Filipinos. Opening play in the final round, the U.S. was given a run for its money by the Philippines. Trailing by just three points at the half, 25-22, the Philippines squad rallied at the start of the second half and took a 31-26 lead. However, the USA offense got rolling and with three minutes remaining the USA had control 49-30 before finally settling for a 56-43 victory. The 6-6 forward Kirby Minter led the USA offense with 15 points. Although the Americans managed to post a strong win-loss slate of 9-0, they will never forget their memorable encounter with the formidable Filipino squad. The Filipinos on the other hand, was led by Carlos "The Big Difference" Loyzaga - the team captain who won the Mythical Five award in the same tourney - for being the third highest individual scorer over-all. Loyzaga was also the first basketball player to be inducted into the National Basketball Hall of Fame. Also present in the line-up were Lauro Mumar, Florentino Bautista, Francisco Rabat, Benjamin Francisco, and the 6'2 Mariano Tolentino. The Philippines beat the favored Uruguay team, 67-63, to clinch the Bronze Medal on November 5, 1954. This mighty feat until now, remains unsurpassed in the realms of Philippine Basketball and Asia as a whole.
btw, stop the discriminatin y'all. cmon. those fil-foreigners who have carried our flag, given us hope and pride, are as filipino like you and me, given equal rights accruing every filipino as guaranteed by the constitution.
we should put our patriotism on the right perspective! being 'fil-am' is just a label, these people or players were considered by our law as FILIPINOS. we should not create divisions and racial discrimination against them. decent and civilized people dont discriminate and judge harshly.
it wasn't their choice that they became fil-foreigners. Fate had made them so.
but don't even blame their parents for siring kids who would later become fil-foreigners. for all we know, many of them reluctantly left the country in search of the so-called greener pastures.
the fact that their children had elected to return home and taken root on the land of birth of their parents is a more than patriotic enough move.
their efforts at achieving excellence side by side with their homebred brothers must be encouraged to the hilt. their challenge must be treated as fair game and not met with derision. their perseverance must be the impetus for competition to progress rather than retrogress.
when we go abroad and offer a challenge, and then we are met with hostility by the homegrown talents, do we not cry foul, if not rile at the gods?