Cebuano basketball personalities weigh in on Philippines-Cambodia game: ‘It was like Gilas vs USA’

By: Immae Lachica - CDN Digital | May 12,2023 - 12:50 PM

CEBU, Philippines—Cebuano coach Gary Cortes is one who doesn’t hold back when he sees something wrong.

The multi-titled University of the Visayas (UV) head coach knows his basketball, steering his collegiate squad to several titles in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc (Cesafi) men’s basketball tournament.

So when it came to commenting about the Gilas Pilipinas-Cambodia game at the Southeast Asian Games, Cortes didn’t hold back too.

“Murag Gilas vs USA man to ang gabie nga game,” Cortes said.

(It was like a Gilas vs USA game.)

“The Cambodian [team] is composed of mostly American imports. Mag lisod man gani ‘ta ug daug ug isa ra ka naturalize player ang kontra, much more kung almost whole team. Sa bagay, advantage na sa Gilas, murag tune up game na na nila para sa FIBA [World Cup],” he said.

“The Cambodian [team] is composed of mostly American imports. We have a hard time winning against teams with one  naturalize player, how much more when almost the whole team is composed of naturalized players. Well, it may be an advantage for Gilas as it would serve as  a tune up game for the FIBA [World Cup]) 

Saddled by frosty shooting all-night long, the Gilas Pilipinas, ot the Philippine men’s basketball team, bowed to Cambodia, 79-68, in the highly anticipated men’s basketball clash on Thursday, May 11.

READ: Gilas Pilipinas loses to Cambodia in SEA Games 2023

The loss was quite a setback for the Philippines, which was hoping to regain its powerhouse status in the region.

Cebuano player Shane Menina, who once played for the University of Cebu (UC) in the Cesafi and also had a stints in the NCAA with Mapua and Arellano, agreed with Cortes.

“Puro naturalized og walay local nga taga Cambodia,” Menina said.

100-precent effort

But noted Cebuano coach Jerry Abuyabor, an assistant now at UC, said the Filipino cagers really didn’t pay well during the game.

“For me, naging complacent ‘yung mga players. Part siguro [is they underestimated] the opponent,” he said.

(For me, I think they were complacent. Partly maybe because they underestimated the opponent.)

“Ngayon lang naman talaga nag palakas ang Cambodia with those imports,” he added. 

(It’s only now that Cambodia reinforced their team with those imports.)

Abuyabor says in order to beat a team that has firepower, the Philippines needs to give it their all.

“We cant play 50/50. [It] needs 100 percent effort,”  he said.

High-flying Cebuano player Miguel Gastador also thought the Gilas needed more time to gel.

But he also believes the team showed promise. 

“We definitely had a good fight because we have the best players in the country now,” the former University of San Jose-Recoletos player said.

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas chair emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan, meanwhile, called the Gilas performance  ‘disgraceful.’

“What a disgraceful game for Gilas,” he wrote on Twitter. “An ignominious defeat which will be etched deeply in infamy,” he went on.

READ: MVP reacts to ‘disgraceful’ Gilas loss to Cambodia: ‘SBP, what happened?

Gilas Pilipinas found itself trailing by double digits early in the game,  thanks to the torrid shooting of the hosts’ naturalized players.

Gilas trailed by as many as 21 in that game. 

The Philippines now has 1-1 (win-loss) record in Group A. They crushed Malaysia in their opening game.



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TAGS: basketball, Gilas Pilipinas, Southeast Asian Games

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