Our National Team played tentative basketball tonight and fell short of winning over the Iranians, 75-69 in the Fiba Asia Cup. The first three quarters were lackluster and we were quite nervous in taking those important shots. We did not capitalize on Iran’s foul trouble and missed free throws.
Reliable players like Alapag, Taulava, and Seigle were injured during the game. I thought that it was over with a 15-point lead by Iran. We’re left with Pennisi and Raymundo- players that I was not expecting to make a huge impact. I was so wrong. Two back-to-back three point shots were made by Pennisi while Raymundo went strong to the hoop a lot of times in the final quarter putting away Iranians who were in foul trouble. We were at striking distance to win the game as the lead went down to only just one point. Unfortunately, emotions were running high in the closing seconds of the match and this hurt our chances to win the game. RP Coach Chot Reyes was complaining over the ref’s no call on a traveling violation and we were slapped by a technical foul.
Commentators Quinito Henson and Chino Trinidad were obviously peeved but this should not be seen as the tipping point of the game. Iran has edged us in field goal percentage and they took advantage of “unsportsmanlike” fouls committed by our team. We outrebounded them but the shots we took were not getting in.
We should just move along and set our sights on winning over China tomorrow. Our past mistakes are acknowledged but we don’t need this to hamper our chances of getting to our goal. I believe that our team will bounce back and I still believe that we will win our next games.
Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!